According to Nigel Webb, senior manager at Equitable Life, it is the first such system available to UK life assurance and pension policy holders.
"People more and more want to know the value of their investments. The drive for information has never been greater" he said. Webb believes the system will prove a winner for customers: "Now they can switch between funds, change details and get information directly in real-time." He insisted that the service was secure. "Security is paramount. We have gone to great lengths to ensure it is a secure system."
The move was welcomed by the Association of British Insurers (ABI). "Insurance companies are making more use of the Internet. If it can help policy holders keep track of their investments then it is a good idea," said an ABI spokesman, adding a proviso about security. "Companies need to ensure they protect confidentiality and make sure customers fully understand these are in place."
Both Prudential and Norwich Union describe the development as "interesting" but have no immediate plans to launch their own online tracking services.