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Sipp mis-buying – not misselling – is the problem, says Vantis

Vantis, the AIM-listed business advisory, tax and accountancy firm, is rejecting warnings from some IFAs that Sipps could be the subject of the next mis-selling scandal, claiming instead that investors have bought into them sometimes in spite of advice that they are not the right vehicle.

The company claims the determination of some people to invest in Sipps, in the face of recommendations to the contrary, is more a case of mis-buying than of mis-selling.

Vantis Financial Management director Steve Harvey says: ‘‘We have been approached by a number of people who think they want a Sipp because that’s what they’ve read about in the press. They like the idea of managing their own pension investments, but fail to take into account the associated costs and whether the potential benefits merit the sometimes high outlay.’’ In fact Sipps had been around for some 16 years prior to A-Day but the hype of pensions simplification brought them to the fore – with a lot of providers jumping on the bandwagon to supply a product the market seemed to be clamouring for. The pull, it seems, has come as much from investors as from providers pushing their products at the risk of mis-selling.

He says: ‘‘Sipps can be costly to set up, with high annual charges, and are really only of interest to people who want to devote time to managing their own financial affairs. There are huge numbers of investors out there paying into a Sipp, for whom it’s a completely inappropriate product. And in many cases, it’s no one’s fault but their own.’’

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