Curtis Banks eyes drawdown as profits surge

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Pre-tax profits at Curtis Banks have soared 82 per cent in the first six months of the year, interim results shows.

The Sipp firm, which floated in May 2015, recorded profits of £2.1m in the first half of the year, up from £1.2m over the same period in 2014.

Revenue also grew by 66 per cent, from £4.5m to £7.5m.

Curtis Banks says the growth was largely driven by the impact of three Sipp book acquisitions: Pointon York in October 2014, Rathbones Pensions and Advisory Services in December 2014 and Friends Life in March 2015.

Staff numbers have also grown, from 181 at the end of last year to 240 now.

In a bid to capitalise on other providers’ reluctance or inability to offer full pension flexibility, Curtis Banks is due to launch a short-term drawdown product.

The firm has soft launched the product, which has a single 0.3 per cent management charge, with several advisers. It has been designed to let customers withdraw funds over four or five years with funds invested solely in cash.

It is also considering whether to make the product available on a non-advised basis.

Chief executive Rupert Curtis says: “It’s aimed at those customers who are having difficulty accessing the pension freedoms.”

He says the acquisition market is strong and will be driven by the new capital adequacy requirements on Sipp providers due to take effect from 2016.

He says: “We are working on a number of acquisitions. There’s more out there in the market place than there has been in the past, consolidation is very much ongoing and will be for a while yet. A lot of it is driven by the capital adequacy rules, it’s pushing people towards putting their firms on the market.”

Curtis adds the company will be launching a number of platform group Sipp products.