Frequently asked questions

Although you should find : invest very intuitive to use, you may have some specific questions about the terminology used. So we have put together this series of frequently asked questions to help you. If you’ve read the following and still have a burning question don’t hesitate to call our customer services team who will be happy to help.

Please note, features may vary depending on your choice of platform. The answers contained within this section are specific to the Willis Owen platform.

  • To open your Willis Owen account, simply click here

    If your online application is successful, you will be able fund your account by debit card and then trade immediately.

  • Yes, once you have successfully opened an account. If you wish to invest simply fund your account and start trading.

  • The minimum contributions are as follows:

    • the minimum single contribution is £25
    • the minimum regular contribution is £25
  • All the information sent between you and our office is encrypted giving you total peace of mind. We hold a valid security certificate for our website and in your web browser this can normally be evidenced by a closed padlock symbol next to the web address on any of the client pages while you are setting up your account, trading and once you are logged in.

  • It works on IE 10 or greater, Safari 6 or greater, Firefox 23 or greater and Chrome 29 or greater. It will render on a mobile device on the same basis as above, but we do not have a specific mobile deployment.

  • Statements will be generated bi-annually online in the 'my documents area'. You can of course get an up to date valuation of your portfolio in : invest within the valuation area.

  • A consolidated Tax Voucher is issued annually for dividends which are paid within the previous tax year. We will send you an email to notify you of this and you will be able to find this in : invest within the 'my documents' area shortly after the end of each tax year.

  • This is a confirmation of your transaction and you will be able to view it within the 'my documents' area. We will send you an email to notify you when you have a contract note and you can turn these alerts off in the 'my notification options' area.

  • Fees will be collected from available cash or from a proportional sell down of units from the Funds you hold within each product (minimum of £10 in total). 

    You can control the process of paying fees with one of the following options:

    • Top up your cash with a Debit Card contribution with a minimum of £25
    • Set up a Direct Debit for an amount that would cover your expected future fees
    • Set up a Regular Sell Instruction to sell a monetary amount in a Fund or Funds of your choice to precisely target where the fees are taken from.

    Please note; contributions to pay fees for your ISA will be deducted from your remaining ISA allowance for this tax year.

  • Dividends are normally credited to your account on the day we receive cleared funds. It will either be left as cash, paid to your bank account or reinvested - depending on your selected option. 

  • Once you've logged into : invest using your PIN, simply click on the 'select an action' drop down menu and select 'contribute'.

    We accept all major UK debit cards. Funds paid in by debit card are credited to your account and you can trade immediately as soon as the cash becomes available. There is a minimum of £25 by debit card contribution.

    We do not accept credit card contributions. 

  • In a small number of instances our electronic checks may fail to confirm your personal identity or confirm your address. In these instances you will be advised of this and requested to provide certified copies of documents proving personal identity and confirmation of residential address. A list of suitable documents will be provided to you. Simply send the relevant certified documentation to us. Once received by us, we will manually open your account for you.

  • On the : invest summary page, click on 'my details' and then click on 'my bank account'.

    Please note you will have to cancel any active Direct Debits or regular sells instruction before you can change your bank account details.

  • On the : invest summary page, click on 'my details' and then click on 'my contact details' to change your address and phone numbers or 'my personal details' to change your name. 

  • Using our switch facility, you can easily move from one Fund to another. Within the valuation page, select the Fund you would like to move and on the drop down menu, select 'switch'. The Fund will be sold on the same day you move into the new Fund.

  • Once you've opened an account with us, on the : invest summary page, select 'transfer in' from the drop down menu.  Simply complete the required fields, then print, sign and return the transfer form to us.   We will process your transfer request immediately for providers that support electronic transfers, but require a signed transfer form for audit purposes. For all other providers we will await your signed instruction before instigating your transfer.

  • The length of time taken to transfer investments to the Willis Owen Platform will depend on whether it is a cash transfer (where your Funds are sold and transferred as cash) or a stock transfer (where your existing investment units/shares are brought across like for like).

    Transfers usually complete within 30 days, but it can vary depending on the type of transfer, type of stock, provider and/or platform involved.  The good news is more and more providers work via an electronic system which can cut your transfer time down to a matter of days, rather than weeks, in a lot of cases.

    Cash transfers can take 2-3 weeks, in which time you will be out of the market for the duration of the transfer, until you purchase a new investment. During this period, your investments will be sold and await settlement. Dependant on the provider, a cheque may be raised and sent to us. We will bank the cheque and await clearance; once cleared your monies will be available to you for investment.

    Stock transfers can take 4-6 weeks. As this is purely an administration change, you will not be out of the market at anytime, this is just platforms and providers exchanging data to amend their records.

    While your transfer is in progress you will not be able to trade with the units/shares that you are transferring, however, your investments will remain within their product wrapper.

  • You will first need to contact your future provider to open an account with them and complete their transfer form. They will then send this to us and we will transfer the account on your behalf. We would also welcome a call from you to discuss why you wish to leave. We may offer a solution you are looking for.

  • You will receive an email notifications of any corporate actions. You can select to only receive notifications if the corporate action has an elective option within 'my notification options'.

  • On the : invest summary page, select 'withdraw' from the drop down menu. Withdrawal to your verified bank account will be sent by Faster Payment. The payment will be sent on the same day if the withdrawal is requested before 12pm, any request after this time will be paid out the following business day.

    Please note: Money Laundering Regulations require all financial institutions that hold client monies to confirm the identity of account holders. To adhere to these regulations you may be asked to provide evidence that the bank account you are remitting the money to is in your name. A bank statement no older than three months old or a cheque with void written across it will be sufficient. Please note, once you have confirmed your bank account details, you will not be required to provide evidence again. Monies cannot be released until your bank account has been verified.

  • Nominee accounts allow investors to hold investments without becoming involved in any of the associated administration or paperwork. Nominee accounts are perfectly normal and widespread throughout the financial service industry. You are still the beneficial owner of the investments but your name does not appear on the company’s Share/Fund register.

    Nominee accounts are ring-fenced from other company activities for financial security.

  • Within : invest, we have a large variety of Funds, Shares, Investment Trusts and ETFs that you can invest in.

  • The value of investments can go down in value as well as up, so you could get back less than you invest. It is therefore important that you understand the risks and commitments. Willis Owen does not provide personal advice based on your circumstances. We aim to provide information and tools to help you make your own informed decisions. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment we suggest you seek advice from a qualified Independent Financial Adviser.

  • You can set up a Direct Debit online if the bank account is solely in your name and you are the sole person required to authorise a debit on that account. Please note the bank account will need to be verified before you can set up an active Direct Debit. If the bank account is not verified, you will need to sign a paper mandate (found in 'my documents' area) and post it to us.

    To do this, simply go to the 'contribute' page and select Direct Debit and follow the instructions on the screen. You will also be able to amend or cancel your Direct Debit online.

    If you have a joint account, we can only set up a Direct Debit on joint accounts where you are able to authorise Direct Debits without needing a joint signatory. 

  • Direct Debits will be taken on the day you chose and if there's any investment strategy in the mandate, these will be placed on the same day.

  • We are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. You may be entitled to compensation from the scheme if we cannot meet our obligations. This depends on the type of business and the circumstances of the claim. Most types of investment business are covered and the compensation limit for investments is £50,000 per person per firm (for deposits the limit is £85,000 per person per firm). Further information about compensation arrangements is available from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme website, at

  • At any time you hold cash within your Willis Owen online account; these monies will be placed into a client money bank account held with Barclays Bank Plc.

  • A platform is a financial service that enables people to place investments in one portfolio choosing from a range of tax efficient wrappers (ISAs, JISAs, Pensions), usually at a discounted price. Platforms offer a service that enables investors to buy and often hold their investments online all in one place, with a degree of flexibility to switch investments around without having to keep paying high charges and deal directly with multiple fund managers.

  • Yes, Willis Owen Ltd is an FCA authorised firm (FCA Number 121261). You can look up our current status on the FCA website.

  • You can email our customer service team at or telephone 0800 597 2525. We are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5:00pm.

  • Embark Investment Services Limited is one of our strategic partners that provides our Willis Owen ISA, GIA, Junior ISA and SIPP. They have extensive experience across the banking, investment, pensions and insurance sectors and partner with the FNZ market-leading digital platform to offer a range of investment products. Embark is privately owned, has 500 employees and is responsible for over £11bn of assets under administration.  

    They are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

  • FNZ is one of our strategic partners that provides the technology solution which enables your investments to be held on the Willis Owen platform. FNZ currently provides Platform services to some of the largest insurance companies in the UK e.g. Aviva, Standard Life, Zurich, UBS and Axa.

    FNZ acts as custodian for investments on the Willis Owen platform, but the customer remain the beneficial owner of any investments.

  • Winterflood Securities is one of our strategic partners that provides the settlement and clearance services for Shares, Investment Trust and ETFs trading. As well as providing business services, Winterflood is Europe’s leading market maker and also offers sales trading, electronic trading and investment trust research. The company is a subsidiary of Close Brothers which  is a leading UK merchant banking group providing lending, deposit taking, wealth management services and securities trading. Close Brothers is a FTSE 250 company, employing over 3,000 people, and is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

  • You can log into your Willis Owen SIPP account via our secure website to obtain a current value, at any time.

  • No. Unfortunately, Cofunds only calculate their portfolio fees on one single date per month. Therefore, it is likely that your portfolio may be transferred away before all outstanding fees are collected. This may leave your Cofunds account in a negative position. This can be settled by sending a cheque with a covering letter quoting your Cofunds account number for the outstanding sum. Your cheque must be payable to ‘Cofunds Limited’ and can be sent directly to them at Cofunds Ltd, PO Box 1103, Chelmsford, CM99 2XY.

If you have a question that isn't answered here, you can contact us in a variety of ways.

Get in touch

Contact our Customer Service Team on 0800 597 2525.

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