Pausing of Dozens' 5% p.a Fixed Interest bond issuances

If you bid for the April 2020 issuance of the 5% p.a Fixed Interest bonds, then you will already have received the message below via email. We’ve it included here for further information, and for discussion.

Time to Press Pause

As we have always pointed out, the funding for the 5% interest on these bonds was a marketing cost, one that we were prepared to make to help our customers to build a savings habit, and also because having an attractive product like this was also a way to encourage more to join us (and reward them rather than pay for expensive advertising).

As the current economic climate is so volatile and uncertain, it is prudent for us to pause this activity. We fully intend to bring these back once the time is right, and matters such as building savings for the future, and not dealing with daily issues, are more pertinent.

To be clear, all existing bonds are unaffected and you will continue to receive your monthly interest. This is only for NEW issuances.

Email - 19/03/2020


We’re getting in touch to let you know we won’t be going ahead with the upcoming April issuance of our 5% p.a. Listed Fixed Interest Bonds , and we won’t be issuing any new bonds for a while.

Your current bid has been cancelled and the amount returned to your Cash Savings.

Any existing Fixed Interest Bonds you already hold with us are not affected. You’ll continue to receive your 5% p.a. interest each month as usual. And as always, the amount you invested in bonds plus the full 12 months interest is safely held in a segregated, trustee-controlled account.

Why have we made this decision? Well, we created the bonds to introduce people to investment products without their capital being at risk. We bear the risk of this product as a company so our customers don’t have to. In a time of such uncertainty, when all companies are having to reassess non-essential costs, it would not be prudent for us to go ahead with new issuances at the moment.

While we’re disappointed to have to press pause on the bonds for now, we feel positive about their future. Our very first issuance from 2019 just matured, and in doing so proved that they are a successful, useful and accessible product. We’re proud of them, and we’re thankful to all of our customers who trusted us in our early days.

We hope to bring the bonds back when the time is right, and when we do, you’ll be the first in line.

You’ll be able to pre-register to have the same bid automatically accepted in the next issuance, whenever that is, if you’d like to. We’ll be in touch with details when the time comes.

We’ve included some FAQs below to help answer any questions you might have, but if there’s anything else you’re not sure of, you can contact us on help@dozens.com.

Thank you,

The Dozens team

FAQ

I already hold 5% p.a. Fixed Interest Bonds with Dozens, will these be affected?

No, any other bonds you hold with us will continue to work as usual. You’ll keep receiving your 5% p.a. Interest monthly, and as always all money invested in the bonds, plus the full 12 months interest, sits in a separate trustee-controlled account on your behalf.

Will the bonds be coming back?

We plan to bring the bonds back when the time is right. As you know, our bonds are a unique product that we designed to help make higher interest more accessible, and this continues to be our mission. All the infrastructure for the bonds is in place so as soon as the time is right to bring them back we can get them up and running very quickly.

Are the bonds protected?

The bonds are not FCA regulated products, and are not covered by FSCS protection. But they were designed to teach people who have never invested before how to invest, but with their capital being at risk. So all money invested in the bonds, plus the full 12 months interest, in a separate trustee-controlled account on your behalf. This would be used to pay you in the event of any default.


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Disappointing news but totally the right thing to do in the current situation.
Good luck on riding the next few months :raised_hands:

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Sad, but understandable.

Obviously you have contingency plans and working capital and this decision is designed to help protect the latter as you still have running costs and staff to pay.

That said, this is a pretty unprecedented situation, so what can we do to support dozens during this time?

Use the debit card?
Use Invest? (If you’re a bear market kind of person!)

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Complete and utter farce to cancel even the April launch. I transferred my money to dozens and put my bid in weeks ago.

Dozens messed about their customers throughout last year by endlessly cancelling the (re-)launch of the bonds. Now they’re cancelling them again with no notice.

It demonstrates how fragile and volatile this new start-up is.

I’ve wasted a huge amount of time on these bonds that hardly came to anything - you get a few pennies back each month - and now am going to have to pull my money out of dozens that I transferred in preparation for the bond launches to keep it safely elsewhere.

You give people your endless loyalty despite them messing you about repeatedly and they choose to kick you in the teeth.

That is such a kind reaction, thank you! It is heartening to see how people can come together in a crisis like this and look out for each other. :slight_smile:

This is us being prudent, so I am still confident about the future (this is a personal comment BTW), but of course we still want to be helping customers as much as we can and continue to expand - as this is what startups need to do.

Dozens’ revenues were always designed to come from long term investment habits of customers, so of course the ideal for us is for our customers to maintain their Invest portfolios - though using the card has some small benefit and it keeps us in mind, and this is a good time to start watching budgets as well!

We purposely designed our model so that we did not charge our customers if their investment values fell so as to remove one reason for exiting any current investments. However, it is understandable that some might be nervous about new investments, but there will be opportunities, so you will have to be a judge of whether this is the right time to put your money in.

For the time being, the main thing is to keep calm and support our families, friends and colleagues so we adapt to our new realities, and then we can look to bring stability and confidence to as many as we can. How we do that might have to change, but we want to be there for you, so let’s chat about what can be done and what you need.

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It was very difficult to do due to the multiple technical errors I’ve not experienced with any bank, but I’ve finally managed to pull 100% of my money out of dozens. It’s unfortunate that, just like with the majority of last year, the bonds are not being issued and the remaining one grain of faith I had in dozens has been taken away.

It feels like a major relief to now have my money safely saved with a major institution that, on top of paying interest which dozens doesn’t do, has respect and value for their customers and operates rather than an amateur outfit trying to make a fool out of them with endless stop-start processes.

I think you’re being exceptionally unfair here. I appreciate your disappointment, and it is unfortunate that the bonds will not be available for a while. However, we are in unprecedented times.

No company is immune to the affects of this pandemic, I heard a few days ago of one of the high street banks also pulling one of their products temporarily due to covid-19. Many companies are having to make very difficult decisions right now, it is going to be a hard slog for the economy as a whole.

As for the technical issues you refer to, it’s a young company so there may be some niggles in the the processes from time to time. That should be expected, though I appreciate it’s not ideal, these are things you should be prepared for when jumping in to support startups.

I think Dozens has actually acted extremely well, ramping up their engagement on here (which was already good) in order to try and better support people who could be in a very difficult and lonely situation having no one else to interact with. But pulling a product or two is something that perfectly reasonable to expect in such abnormal times.

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hello again @DozensFan

I am sorry you are so disappointed, and I am glad you now feel relieved. We would not want you to worry about your money, so if you prefer to move it out, that is completely up to you.

The Bonds are, and have always been, a marketing cost to Dozens, and we’ve always communicated as such. I am sorry you will not be able to get your bid in this month, but no past bonds are affected. The decision was taken in the interests of the business and therefore the long term benefit of all customers.

That is not correct or fair. We were required to pause the issuances for a while, and because we believe in fairness and prudence, we did not communicate their relaunch until we were ready. We never “endlessly cancelled” anything.

In the time they have been running, we have already committed close to £80,000 of Dozens’ money as interest for bond holders, half of which will have been paid out when bonds have matured or in monthly interest. I do hope you got more than ‘pennies’ but hundreds of customers have benefitted overall.

We really are trying to do our best for our customers, and we think of the longer term, even taking hard decisions when required in order to deliver that.

I am sorry that this did not come across for you and we wish you all the best at this very stressful and trying time.

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I think in times like this everyone needs to be kind and understanding towards each other and companies.
Dozens is still TECHNICALLY a start-up and hence more vulnerable and susceptible towards any little economic change. This nightmare of a disease has already impacted the interest rates and slashed the bank base rate to 0.1%, no one can be that naive to think Dozens was still going ahead with the 5% bonds this month or for the foreseeable future until this is epidemic has cleared.
I hope Dozens and the employees (along with their families) are all okay and looking after themselves, and that’s more important than a 5% bond for me. I can patiently wait until the next issuance, as I know they will return due to the consistency over the past several months. Look after yourselves everyone!

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Thank you @maria! I can confirm all is well so far on our end, and we’re staying positive and focused. It’s truly is amazing how trying times bring us closer together. Your kind words definitely substantiates that community feeling, we hope you and your family are well too. :blush:

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Cheers @Albatross. We want to be here for our community the same way our communities are here for us, both at work and in life. We hope to be posting more bits and starting some interesting conversations so watch this space. :wink:

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