FPI Premier Advance Review

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Friends Provident International FPI Premier AdvanceFriends Provident International (FPI) Premier Advance Review:-
Friends Provident International – FPI – has over 35 years of international experience and is part of the Aviva group which has a heritage that dates back over 300 years.
FPI provide savings, investment and protection products to customers in Asia and the UAE. With offices in Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Isle of Man, FPI have more than 500 staff worldwide .

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FPI Premier Advance Summary

FPI Premier Advance Review

The Friends Provident International (FPI) Premier Advance is an expensive option compared with a pure platform custodian plan and supposed tax benefits can be outweighed by charges and lost through penalties. Those penalties in the first 12 months are extremely high effectively wiping out any money saved in that time.

When considering a Friends Provident International (FPI) Premier Advance then ensure you fully understand the local taxation position and weigh any benefits against its lack of flexibility, access and charges which are often not explained. It does not offer a full range of discounted funds, direct equities or trackers to invest in.


For


  • Widely available and sold
  • Offers some tax protection in certain jurisdictions
  • If kept running to original planned term then may promote savings concept (but statistics from many other companies show that less than 20% of regular savings plans are maintained to term)

Against


  • No flexibility of full withdrawal or full access in the early years without penalty
  • Many countries do not recognise any tax concessions
  • Commission wipes out all initial investments made making this an extremely expensive option
  • Does not provide full access to lowest cost funds and passive trackers



Policy Currency: The FPI Premier Advance may be denominated in US dollar, GB pound, Hong Kong dollar, Japanese yen, Swedish krona (SEK) or Euro. Benefits will be paid in the plan currency.
Why choose the FPI Premier Advance: Leading Fund Houses offer a wide choice of investment funds. You choose from over 100* risk-rated funds covering all the major world markets and investment classes. The funds section contains performance statistics which are updated monthly, fund prices which are updated daily and Fund Fact Sheets on each fund.

Expat Money Expert Verdict on Funds 

FPI Premier Advance promotion: What does FPI write about their own FPI Premier Advance? the FPI Premier Advance is an international investment product that offers potential for capital growth over the medium to long term (five years +).It gives you access to the world’s investment markets through unit trusts, investment trusts and open-ended investment companies. The personalised assets version could also include international equities, fixed interest securities, structured notes and deposits. There is also an option to use FPI’s own funds however, these are “Mirror funds” which are a copy of the underlying fund and therefore may give different returns than the underlying fund it is mirrored from.
Eligibility: FPI Premier Advance is a regular premium, whole of life, life assurance contract issued by Friends Provident International. It is available to most international investors outside of main regulated territories such as the UK, the U.S.A. and Australia.
Minimums: Minimum £300 per month. You can pay additional amounts via a number of different methods including credit card. Payment by credit card into the FPI Premier Advance will result in a charge of between 1% and 1.95% of each payment additional cost.
Charges:

An initial charge of 1.5% is taken each quarter from your initial unit holding over the term of the plan.
A monthly plan charge of £4 ( or equivalent currency)

Annual Policy Charge Structure:
An annual fund administration charge of 1.2% of the plan value.

Other Charges:
Annual management charges and other fund expenses are imposed by the underlying fund manager and the amount depends on which fund is chosen.

Full details of charges can be found FPI Charging Structures.

Are FPI Premier Advance charges explicit: By explicit, it means that it is clear to see not only the charges for taking out the plan but also the cost of funds annually, any upfront fund costs, penalties on access, etc. Yes, in the main the FPI Premier Advance charges are clearly shown and any professional should be able to interpret them. We have had feedback from clients though that they find it extremely difficult to interpret charges such as how any early access penalties would be calculated.

Expat Money Expert Verdict on Charges 

Surrender of the FPI Premier Advance: Your plan will not have a cash-in value until you have paid at least 12 months’ worth of payments. We understand from clients who have taken out these plans that there are also heavy encashment penalties after 12 months depending on the original term of the policy and when you want to access it. These penalties pay for the commissions earned up front by your salesman.

Expat Money Expert Verdict on Accessibility



Expat Money Expert Assessment of the FPI Premier Advance

We think there are several other better options available, but you may disagree

We are going to repeat the section on surrender, otherwise known as accessing your money when you want or need it! Your FPI Premier Advance plan will not have a cash-in value until you have paid at least 12 months’ worth of payments. We understand from clients who have taken out these plans that there are also heavy encashment penalties after 12 months depending on the original term of the policy and when you want to access it. These penalties pay for the commissions earned up front by your salesman.

Commission (that charge which is paid by a bond provider to a salesman and is often not fully disclosed) plays a big part in the charges that a client will suffer.

The standard FPI Premier Advance funds have high ongoing fees when directly compared to platform or direct offerings from fund houses via the UK or the USA. The FPI Premier Advance can have high charges on early access and an attempt to take proceeds early in the plans life, will result in access penalties or higher charges on the remaining invested funds, or both.

NOTE: Not all distributing agents have regulation or financial qualifications and may not be aware of the other options available.

WARNING: Costs and information is correct as of July 2016. Please refer to a brochure from the company for current up to date information and any changes on costs or information. You should not buy based purely on information contained within this article and EME do not accept liability for purchases. If you have any doubts then please speak with your financial adviser or a representative of the company for further advice.

If the provider improves or amends its terms then EME would like to hear from them to amend the review page accordingly, and providers are encouraged to comment on errors or omissions to ensure that readers have the latest and correct information.



Comments 5

  1. Awful product. Hugely expensive. Part of an evil industry which preys on the legitimate savings concerns of recently arrived ex-pats.

  2. I have a policy with FPLI. They are charging 3 times more than the fees quoted in the application I signed. When I asked about I got the most unhelpful answer imaginable.

    “We are unable to divulge any information, or comment ,on any agreement you have made with the Trustees when setting up this policy.”

    So they won’t discuss, instead they just plan to continue overcharging me.

  3. In UAE, agents are selling for 25 years, suggest avoid this. As Surrender Charges ‘eat up’ substantial amount if you surrender in early years.

  4. I would in the strongest sense discourage anyone from considering an investment with FPI or similar outfits. The annual fees can approximate 4% (hidden, albeit declared) coupled with very high surrender fees. Think of the impact of a 4% fee over a decades long period. This is a mistake I made in my 20s that I imagine many expats around the world have shared. I would also rate them as *. The bright side is I have learned a lot about what not to do early enough to catch the problem.

  5. As a customer I must say that FPI is a company I would avoid. I have had nothing but problems and issues with their level of communication. I am currently trying to move my money else where. I am surprised they have 2 stars here as I would rate them 1 star.

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  • Charges criteria

    Charges are assessed inclusive of fund fees, capital units, bid/offer spread criteria and third party management fees which are often ignored but are, in effect, compulsory additional costs that essentially must be considered by clients.


    Star ratings

    The star ratings apply at inception of the products and in at least the first 2 -8 years. Some products reduce charges or become more accessible with time held, but the length varies for each product; from our reviews it is typically overall between 5-10 years.

    These ratings are awarded based on information obtained from the companies at a certain date. It is worth considering obtaining the latest updated information yourself before making a decision.


    Star ratings

    ChargesOverall charges greater than 8% per annum.
    FundsLimited selected range of collectives or mirror funds with upfront additional charges (Bid/Offer spread) or initial “capital” units.
    AccessibilitySevere access penalties, some accessibility after establishment period with total loss of fund or severe penalties in establishment period of 6-24 months or longer.
    Overall AssessmentA commission-based adviser’s product. Not recommended under any circumstances.

    ChargesOverall charges greater than 5% per annum.
    FundsIn-house range of collectives or mirror funds with upfront additional charges (Bid/Offer spread).
    AccessibilityPenalties resulting in loss of fund value may exist for 5 years – 8 years or longer, or total loss of fund or severe penalties in establishment period of 3-24 months.
    Overall AssessmentA predominantly commission-based adviser’s product with limited use or appeal.

    ChargesOverall charges between 2.5% and 5% per annum.
    FundsIn-house or limited range of collectives or mirror funds with no Bid/Offer spread.
    AccessibilityTo avoid access penalties, only typically accessible after establishment period of 3-24 months or longer, but with no penalties thereafter.
    Overall AssessmentFor those seeking lock-in target dates (perhaps with guarantees) over 5 years.

    ChargesOverall charges less than 2.5% per annum.
    FundsFull range of collectives with no Bid/Offer spread and rebates on charges reducing annual costs.
    AccessibilityImmediate within 60 days without any penalties on any item.
    Overall AssessmentRecommended for some situations and some people due to lower charges and flexibility.

    ChargesOverall charges less than 1.9% per annum.
    FundsIncludes ETPs (passive) and Individualised accessible collectives with no Bid/Offer spread and clean share classes for lowest annual costs.
    AccessibilityImmediate within 30 days without any penalties on any item.
    Overall AssessmentRecommended for most situations and most people, with full transparency and low charges.