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FCA delays Sipp capital adequacy proposals again

Nick Poyntz-Wright says delay will allow the regulator to take account of the results of thematic review.

The FCA has delayed proposals to increase capital adequacy requirements for Sipp operators until next year. 

The much-anticipated paper, which was originally due to be published in September this year, will set out how the regulator plans to hike the amount of money Sipp firms are required to hold in reserve.

The FCA has now delayed publication of the proposals until Q2 2014.

Addressing an Association of Member-directed Pension Schemes event in London last week, FCA director of long-term savings and pensions Nick Poyntz-Wright said: “We are going to be taking longer before finalising the requirements and coming out with our conclusions.

“There are two reasons for that. Firstly, there were a lot of responses to the consultation so we want to make sure we are evaluating those carefully and take those into account.

“The second reason is during the course of the thematic review we expect we will gather more information about the types of investments held within Sipps which might help us think more carefully about what the final result is.

“That does mean more delay, so at this point we do not expect to be finalising [the Sipp cap-ad proposals] until around the same time as the thematic review concludes [in Q2 2014].”

The initial consultation, published in November last year, proposed increasing the fixed minimum capital requirement for Sipp firms from £5,000 to £20,000. 

The regulator also said it wanted to base the total capital requirement on assets under administration, with an extra capital levy based on the percentage of underlying schemes that contain non-standard assets.

Evolve Financial Planning financial planner Stephen Griffiths says: “It is important the FCA ensures Sipp members are adequately protected so it is good they are taking their time to get these proposals right.”

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