Prudentialife asks for 'more time' to fix finances

Posted at 04/21/09 10:21 PM

Hundreds of plan holders gathered at the Makati headquarters of Prudentialife Plans after news reports that the Securities and Exchange Commission barred the pre-need firm from selling new products due to trust fund deficiencies.

The plan holders were concerned about the company's viability, and with it their hard-earned invesments.

Some are mulling to stop completing payments on their existing pre-need plans and ask the company to reimburse them for the amount they have already paid.

"I will terminate [my pre-need plan] already. I just want my money back before the company's problems get worse," one Prudentialife client told ABS-CBN News.

Prudentialife, on Monday, blamed the global financial crisis for the sharp declines in the market value of their trust funds, or the buffer funds they dip into to meet obligations to clients.

A top official also cited the adverse impact of the fraudulent activities unearthed in the congressional probe on the Legacy Group controversy to the entire pre-need industry.

"We were just dragged by the Legacy controversy," explained Prudentialife president Jose Alberto Alba.

He stressed, however, that they just need more time to get their finances in check. "This is just a challenging phase for us. "We've been through crises before, like when College Assurance Plans and the Asian crisis [in 1997/98] happened. But we've been here for 31 years [so we know] we can weather this challenge too. Just give us time."

The company said they will settle their obligations to their more than 250,000 plan holders.

Prudentialife also clarified that they are still allowed to sell their other products, such as life insurance, health plans, and mutual funds.

"We revoked their [dealers'] license so their obligations to their plan holders will not increase anymore," Securities and Exchange Commission spokesperson Gerard Lukban told ABS-CBN News.

Prudentialife said plan holders could call the company's hotline at 864-8000 or email [email protected] for their concerns. - with Zen Hernandez, ABS-CBN News.com