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Fidelity platform cuts out IFAs with direct Sipp deal

Fidelity FundsNetwork has been accused of undermining advisers by waiving costs for Sipp clients if they buy direct in a bid to boost sales.

The platform has launched an offer where any client who takes out a FundsNetwork direct Sipp by October 10 will avoid the normal £100 set-up fee and the annual admin fee of £250 permanently.

But if the client then chooses to link up with a financial adviser they will have to start paying the admin fee.

Fidelity says its Sipp, which is provided by Standard Life, is only suitable for “people comfortable with making their own financial decisions”.

However, Richard Jacobs Pension and Trustee Services director Richard Jacobs accuses Fidelity of under-mining advisers and says the product is a personal pension, not a Sipp, because it can only hold investments that are available on FundsNetwork.

He says: “This just confirms that Fidelity are nothing more than an evangelical American direct-sales company that think they are better than everyone else and talk down to advisers. They are not offering a Sipp – it is no different to a fund platform and they are just jumping on the Sipp bandwagon.”

Fidelity communications director Richard Miles says: “We remain highly committed to the IFA market but we wanted to provide an option for self-directed investors. We have taken £1bn in Sipp and bond business through FundsNetwork and the majority of business is conducted through advisers.”

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