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Adviser responsible for Sipp suitability unless provider breached independence

Editor’s comment of the week

Online response to last week’s article, Sipp firms put bio-fuel blame on IFAs

My view as an independent Sipp provider is that the provider has no responsibility over ensuring suitability of the investment for an individual – that is clearly the role of the adviser. The provider has clear responsibilities to ensure that:
a: The investment complies with the pension scheme rules
b: The investment complies with relevant regulatory and HM Revenue & Customs’ requirements

My opinion would change, however, if it were subsequently found that the Sipp provider played a role in the promotion or marketing of the investments or their availability. In those cases, and we seem to be seeing more of them, the independence of the provider would have been breached.

I would have concerns if big numbers of these types of investments consistently ended up going to a small group of Sipp providers and if those types of investments were driving a significant proportion of their new Sipp business.

Greg Kingston
Suffolk Life

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