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FCA targets unregulated assets in Sipp thematic review

The FCA has written to Sipp operators to assess the level of unregulated assets held in Sipps as part of its thematic review.

In a data request sent to providers this week the regulator asks for the percentage of assets coming through consumers direct, and either on or off platform.

The data request also asks Sipp providers to state what percentage of assets under administration are placed in different unregulated investment types including commercial property, unregulated collective investment schemes and other non-mainstream assets.

It was revealed last month the FCA had threatened Sipp operators with regulatory action as it prepared to launch a third thematic review into the sector.

Suffolk Life head of marketing and proposition Greg Kingston says: “One thing that jumps out at me is the request for the percentage of direct consumers, particularly off-platform because that is the entry point for all the unregulated investments.

“If I was the regulator I would be looking to ask further questions if a significant percentage appeared in that box. I would also be interested to ask further questions of what ongoing suitability testing and controls the provider undertakes for its existing direct investors.”

The data request asks Sipp providers if they have been approached by other Sipp operators over possible acquisitions within the last six months and whether they plan to launch new products in the next 18 months.

It goes on to request the number of complaints received over the last year.

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Comments

There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Is this too little too late by the regulator.

    After all one of the biggest unregulated products targeted at pensions was Harlequin Property, which many IFA’s voice their concerns over and were abruptly ignored by the regulator. This investment scheme which sold overseas Caribbean homes could potentially lose up to £300 million.

    The fact is unregulated investment schemes deliberately target SIPP investors with little or no regulations and it is about time that the regulator actually cracked down on the advice that is being given.

    After all pension advice is a regulated activity and many of the investment schemes aimed at SIPP should in fact contravene the FSMA 2000 and 2012 on marketing rules alone.

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