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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 last 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.”

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 also requests the number of complaints over the last year.

PMI Independent Financial Advisers director John Stewart says: “I think the FCA will find there has probably been quite a lot of tightening up within Sipp providers in recent months and that they are accepting a lot less unregulated business than they were previously.”

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