Scottish Widows has lifted the restrictions on investors leaving its £2bn of property life and pension funds after an emergency sale of properties managed to restore a safe level of liquidity.

The fund manager has written to 6,000 policyholders to notify them that they will be able to withdraw their cash from its funds, which are among the largest property vehicles that are open to retail investors in the market.

Scottish Widows was one of several fund managers that were forced to close the door to investors near Christmas time, imposing a wait of up to 180 days to withdraw money after seeing a huge increase in redemptions as worried investors looked to exit the beleaguered commercial property sector.

Liquidity levels fell to about 2% of total assets in its £1.1bn property pension fund and its £888.5m property life fund. The cash level within the funds has now been taken to 11% following several property sales.

Financial Times