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FSA warning that the Sipp clock is ticking

The FSA is understood to have only received a handful of applications for Sipp regulation, just three months before the statutory regime is implemented.

The regulator is said to be concerned by the lack of applications and has been stressing the need for greater urgency.

A spokesman has warned it may be unable to authorise firms which hand in their applications at the last minute.

Suffolk Life director of marketing John Moret says this could cause a major problem for IFAs restructuring their business for Sipp regulation as firms can only qualify for interim authorisation – for firms whose applications have not been determined by April 6, 2007 – if they have been running a Sipp since before October 1, 2006.

An FSA spokesman says: “We do not have any targets and we are not going to give a running commentary on how many applications have been received. The concern is that if a company wants to offer a Sipp, then the clock is ticking. There is a risk that if a firm applies halfway through March we will not be able to authorise it by the deadline.”

Pointon York Sipp Solutions managing director Christine Hallett says: “I know the FSA has raised concerns about the lack of applications but many people I have been speaking to have been working to a deadline of Christmas or the end of January.”

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