More misery for Woodford victims as they are told they will have to wait even longer for their cash
Investors with savings trapped in Neil Woodford’s shuttered fund will have to wait even longer to receive the rest of their money.
Link Group, which is overseeing the winding down of the flagship Equity Income fund, said the cash may not be returned until next year.
The fund was frozen in 2019 – locking in £3.7billion of savers’ money – after its tumbling value saw investors run for the exit.
Delays: Link Group, which is overseeing the winding down of Neil Woodford’s flagship Equity Income fund, said the cash may not be returned until next year
So far, £2.54billion has been returned to investors after the sale of assets held in the fund.
But, in a sign of how much savers have lost, just £141million is left, and there are doubts over how quickly this will be repaid.
Link said the fund still has investments in firms including Atom Bank, Benevolent AI, Nexeon, Origin and Rutherford Healthcare.
In a letter to investors, Link managing director Karl Midl said: ‘It is possible that the wind up of the fund may not be completed by the end of 2022.’ He added that he was ‘unable to provide a specific date’ for further payouts.
The process of winding up the company and fund began in January 2020 – with between 300,000 to 500,000 people believed to have been affected by the Woodford scandal.
Moira O’Neill, head of personal finance at Interactive Investor, said the prospect of further delay ‘is guaranteed to add insult to injury after almost three long years’.
She added: ‘Excruciatingly, there was no acknowledgement of investors’ pain in the letter.
‘This is people’s hopes and dreams for retirement dashed, and we’d like to see more understanding of this.’
The focus will now go back to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is probing the scandal.
The FCA was meant to reveal in 2021 if it was going to take enforcement action over the fund’s suspension.