Some Sipp firms have revealed they will no longer deal with international adviser firms that passport into the UK, warning it could represent too much of a compliance risk.
Hornbuckle Mitchell says it will no longer accept new business from any international adviser firm and Curtis Banks says it will no longer accept business from international adviser firms that passport into the UK to advise UK-based clients.
Hornbuckle Mitchell sales and marketing director Mary Stewart says: “We have stopped accepting international business.”
Curtis Banks managing director Rupert Curtis says: “We will no longer accept any UK business from an international adviser. We will now only accept UK cases through firms directly regulated by the FSA. We will use international advisers only for international clients. We have decided it is not ideal to have someone regulated in a different country doing UK Sipps.
“If a firm is directly regulated by the FSA you can be more comfortable with that than with a firm that passports in.”
Last month, the FSA updated its register to clarify that Cyprus-based firm Inter-Alliance Worldnet Insurance Agents and Advisors is not permitted to conduct Sipp business in the UK under its passport. The company had submitted Sipp business to providers such as Hornbuckle Mitchell and Curtis Banks through its UK branch.
Talbot & Muir director Nathan Bridgeman says his firm never accepted Sipp business from overseas advisers. He says: “We only accept business from FSA-regulated UK advisers. We want to be able to meet with advisers face to face to continually check they hold the relevant licences.”
AJ Bell decided to stop accepting business from international advisers around 18 months ago after noticing that a number of adviser firms had moved offshore and were now passporting into the UK.
Marketing director Billy Mackay says: “We became uncomfortable about it as it is difficult to track. There is no doubt that the FSA is expecting providers to track very carefully where they are getting business from.”