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FCA hints at Sipp commercial property cap-ad reprieve

The FCA looks set to reverse a proposal to force Sipp operators with commercial property investments to hold extra capital following criticism from the industry.

In November 2012, the regulator set out how it planned to raise capital requirements for Sipp firms.

It proposed increasing the minimum amount of capital a Sipp operator must hold from £5,000 to £20,000, with a surcharge for providers holding non-standard asset types.

The regulator’s original list of standard assets did not include commercial property, a decision that has since been challenged by the industry.

Speaking at the Association of Member-directed Pension Schemes annual conference in London today, FCA director of long-term savings and pensions Nick Poyntz-Wright said the FCA is “mindful” of the concerns raised by the industry over the regulator’s commercial property stance.

He said: “We are taking into account the feedback we received [to the consultation]. There was a particular focus in the feedback regarding commercial property.

“I am not able to tell you about a final decision on that but we are mindful of the feedback we have had.”

Poyntz-Wright also indicated providers could be given longer than 18 months to transition to the new cap-ad regime.

He said: “It would be perfectly normal for there to be a transitional period to allow firms to move on to a new level of capital.

“Often that transitional period could be 12 or 18 months, but it could also be longer.

“We are thinking about what the appropriate period will be and that will be confirmed when we publish our finalised position.”

The FCA’s final proposals for Sipp cap-ad reform are due to be published in Q3 this year.


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There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Anthony Smith 21st May 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Would you really want to invest in a SIPP that couldn’t raise £20,000? Especially with the additional risks of commercial property. Seems the consolidators must clean up.

  2. Gordon Sinclair 21st May 2014 at 9:51 pm

    @ Anthony Smith

    Its not quite as clear cut as that sadly…there is a fairly complex and ambiguous calculation that providers need to carry out to work out their cap ad and for those that allowed non standard investments it seems to be quite expensive, from memory.

  3. Nick White, Pensions Law Limited 22nd May 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Indeed. The £20k fixed minimum is a red herring: what matters is the requirement based on value of assets under administration, and that is likely to be much higher, even for the smaller operators in the current market.

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