Friday 20 April 2018

Fexco earned €5m last year from Prize Bond venture with An Post

Six €1m jackpots were paid out by the Prize Bond Company last year, but the scheme offers a poor investment return for most
Six €1m jackpots were paid out by the Prize Bond Company last year, but the scheme offers a poor investment return for most
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Kerry-based financial firm Fexco was paid €5m last year by the the Prize Bond Company for administration of parts of the scheme, accounts for the prize bond firm show. An Post received €3.6m.

The two companies run the business on behalf of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), with Fexco and An Post's 50-50 joint venture having entered into a more than nine-year contract with the agency in 2010.

The €5m earned last year by Fexco compared with €4.8m it made in 2013.

The fees earned by An Post in 2014 were virtually unchanged on 2013.

The accounts for the Prize Bond Company show that its gross sales in 2014 were flat at €475.3m, with net sales having declined by 11.9pc to €248.1m.

The net sales slumped as the level of repayments soared 17.2pc to €227.2m.

The value of funds under the Prize Bond scheme totalled €2.17bn at the end of last December, which was 12.8pc higher than in 2013.

The value of prizes awarded fell 10pc to €31.7m last year, while the number of prizes awarded was unchanged at 472,264. The number of prize bond purchases fell 15.5pc to 278,280.

The value of the prize fund is determined by the NTMA by the application of an interest rate to the value of outstanding bonds. The rate was cut to 1.6pc in January 2014, and to 1.25pc in October 2014.

"These reductions by the NTMA were to bring the rates in line with general market interest rates," the accounts for the Prize Bond Company note.

They add: "In conjunction with the change in the rates, the prize draw structure was evaluated and changed."

The odds of any one bond winning the jackpot prize of €1m in any single draw are about 300 million to one.

In summer 2013, the top €1m prize was changed from once a month to every second month.

Last year, there were 39 weekly prizes of €20,000 awarded, with the top weekly prize having been raised to €50,000 in November.

There were 458,912 prizes of €50 each awarded last year, and total prizes of €31.6m.

Statistically, the Prize Bonds offer a poor investment return for buyers. There are 6.82m separate prize bond holdings.

The single biggest grossing month for Prize Bond sales last year was January, when €48.2m worth of the product was sold.

Irish Independent

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