Max Darer, 25/01/2024

Over 780 structured products were issued in the UK retail sector in 2023, which being 10% more than 2022 means it was the sectors biggest year to date. Year on year the range of products offered by the incumbent product providers continue to demonstrate a mature asset class and much needed solution demanded by investors and their advisers.

Ten different product providers released consistent streams of structured plans throughout the year, albeit with over 64% of issuance coming from just three providers; MB, Meteor and Walker Crips. For all but two providers, autocalls were the most common plan type issued, accounting for 64.2% of total issuance. Income plans represented 20.3% and Growth plans 15.5%. 


In terms of capital at risk / deposit-based split, the former remain most common, the majority being capital at risk autocalls. Deposit-based plans came mostly in the form of growth plans.


The below chart shows the distribution of the maximum term of plans in 2023. All deposit based plans had a maximum term of 6 years or less. We are generally most concerned with maximum terms of autocall plans, given that the longer an autocall has to run, the increased likelihood of a positive outcome prior to the final maturity date. Over 60% of capital at risk autocalls issued in 2023 had a maximum possible term of 6 years or less. This is a sharp contrast to 2019 when the figure was less than 20%. This is a reversal of trend that we speculate will prove to be detrimental in several instances if short to medium term performance of underlyings is not favourable.


FTSE 100 (together with FTSE CSDI) linked capital at risk plans accounted for the bulk in issuance last year, with over 46% of total issuance being FTSE capital at risk autocall plans, the mainstay of the UK retail structured product sector for many years. There were 17 different underlyings utilised, including 12 plans that were not linked to an underlying, a first for UK retail structured products, all of which were recallable plans that were capital ‘protected’ and subject only to counterparty risk at ultimate maturity.

 *incuding 25 FTSE CSDI capital at risk autocalls

Ten different counterparties were utilised in 2023, with four banks offering deposit-based plans and two banks offering capital ‘protected’ plans. Barclays were by far the largest backer, however there was no shortage of options to diversify counterparty risk among other banks.



Structured investments put capital at risk.