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FCA requests details of Sipp firms’ business plans

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Experts warn the Financial Conduct Authority is ramping up scrutiny of Sipp providers after the regulator requested detailed information on firms’ post-RDR business plans.

Last week, the FCA contacted Sipp providers asking for details of the way each firm operates.

The information request includes questions about the number of scheme members, assets under administration and the proportion of members’ money invested in different asset types.

The regulator also wants to know how much business each Sipp firm does direct both on and off platform, through bank advisers and through intermediary advisers.

In addition, the FCA asks for each firm’s business strategy for the next three to five years and asks whether they have been approached by smaller operators who are looking to sell their Sipp book.

Suffolk Life head of marketing Greg Kingston says: “To me it looks like the FCA wants to see what changes its consultation papers have introduced, including where various Sipp firms are now going and who the buyers are. It really wants an open appraisal of where each business intends to go.”

London & Colonial product development manager Adam Wrench says: “The reporting Sipp providers need to do is constantly increasing and this is just another thing we will have to do.

“My concern is that as Sipp regulatory costs increase people will inevitably start considering alternatives which are not subject to the same levels of regulation.”

MoretoSipps principal John Moret says: “Given the relatively high profile Sipps have now got, it makes sense for the FCA to make sure it has all the information it needs to regulate the market.”

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