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Sipp commercial property clients face conditional deals

Many Sipp investors are being forced to use specific solicitors, property managers and insurance companies to invest in commercial property.

Standard Life and Capita insist that customers use an affiliated solicitor. James Hay encourages customers to pick from four affiliated solicitors or pay a £450 fee. Standard also forces investors to use its property management partner.

James Hay, Suffolk Life, Standard and Capita all insist that customers use their block insurance policies. The providers argue that these arrangements help them to keep prices down.

But IPS Partnership business development director Richard Mattison says: “They prevent investors from shopping around for the best rates or managing their property themselves.”

Standard senior pensions policy manager Andy Tully says: “Because of the bulk business, we can negotiate special rates for customers.”

A James Hay spokesman says: “We have efficient links and processes with the panel solicitors and therefore our costs are lower and our fees reflect this.”

Suffolk Life sales and marketing director John Moret says: “The terms we have with the insurer, because of the size of the portfolio, are significantly better than individuals would be able to secure.”

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