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Curtis Banks makes Sipp a family affair

Curtis Banks – Flexible Family Trust

Type: Group self-invested personal pension

Minimum group size: One

Minimum investment: No minimum

Investment choice: All investment funds, exchange traded funds, bonds, government securities, shares, cash deposits and other assets approved for investment by HM Revenue & Customs, including commercial property

Options: Scheme pension, unsecured pension, alternatively secured pension

Charges: Set-up fee £200 each member, annual fee £445, additional member fee £150, transfers out £150, same day CHAPS payments £10, in specie transactions £250, additional charges for property transactions and benefit payments

Commission: Agreed between adviser and client

Tel: 0117 9107910

The flexible family trust is a group self-invested personal pension that is designed for families.  It brings all the features of the existing Curtis Banks Sipp, which has a five-star Defaqto rating, to this niche market.

It offers a range of investment and benefit options to one or more family members. A scheme is set up by a founding member, who invites other members to join. Each member has their own Sipp but the assets can be pooled for investment purposes. Full flexibility is provided in terms of the investment choices, with investors able to choose from all investments that HMRC allows for Sipp investment. This includes investment funds, shares and more unusual assets such as unquoted shares and gold bullion.

Looking at how this plan could be useful for IFAs and their clients, Informed Choice managing director Martin Bamford says: “This is a reasonably niche yet important pension product that will find interest from pension specialist IFAs who want to offer their clients more choice and flexibility.”

He believes it offers two key things – the option to pool investments and the ability to provide a scheme pension.  “The latter could be particularly advantageous to those in poor health or over age 75,” he says.
Turning to the less appealing aspects of the product Bamford focuses on the literature. “The literature is not as clear as some others on the market. Curtis Banks could do with revisiting this to ensure it is easier to understand and well presented,” he says.
Scanning the market for possible competitors, Bamford says: “Competition in this particular niche will come from the AXA Winterthur family sun trust and also from Rowanmoor Pensions, which are both similar
products. “
Bamford also mentions the advantages and disadvantages of the product’s lack of a minimum investment. He says: “Setting no minimum investment level is useful when adding additional members, including children, but it could also make this product appeal to unsuitable customers. With SIPPs it is preferable to set a minimum or at least a suggested minimum level where the impact of charges become reasonable,” he says.

He also thinks the plan has a clear, explicit charging structure which appears to be very competitive.

Suitability to market: Average
Flexibility: Good
Charges: Good
Adviser remuneration: Good

Overall 7/10



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