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Exclusive: Coutts launches digital Sipp with Embark

Tech-Technology-Computer-Pound-700x450.jpgCoutts is developing a digital Sipp proposition which is due to be launched in early October.

The private bank currently offers clients general investment account and Isa wrappers online but has not previously offered a digital pension. The new Sipp will be available for Coutts clients only and will allow them to choose their own funds to invest in.

Coutts commercial lead, investments, Nick Johnson says: “We have five in-house Coutts funds called personal portfolio funds which are already available to Coutts clients through Coutts invest and the GIA or Isa wrapper. We are now extending that to a pension wrapper too.”

Johnson says Coutts uses the James Hay Sipp for its face-to-face financial advice business. He adds they are not looking to move that book of business over to the Sipp, which is primarily designed for new pension business, in particular for those with less than £500,000 to invest.

Johnson says: “At the moment we do not tend to advise on pension assets of less than £500,000. [The Sipp] is an opportunity for people who have assets of less than that to potentially consolidate with us if they wish to.”

Coutts is the latest company to make a move in the automated, non-advised Sipp space.

It says the new service is not “robo-advice” because it does not make recommendations on which funds to invest in, how much to invest, or on underlying asset allocation.

However, it joins the likes of robo-advisers WealthSimple, Moneyfarm – which launched a pension wrapper in March – and Moneybox which is understood to be considering a similar launch.

Clients will pay a maximum of 35bps for the Coutts Sipp.

The private bank has worked with Hornbuckle parent group Embark on the project. Embark is also the parent company for SSAS administrator Rowanmoor and fund researcher The Adviser Centre. It acquired the Avalon platform out of administration in 2016.

Embark provides the pension trusteeship and Sipp wrapper in a deal similar to its work with Canadian robo-adviser Wealthsimple. The Canadian company has £1.2 bn in assets under management and recently entered the UK market with its own Sipp product.

Embark, in turn, uses FNZ technology.

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