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Tomorrow slammed after Sipp climbdown

Tomorrow has been slammed by both Sipp providers and advisers for its backtracking over the removal of the Sipp option on its closed book of deferred Sipps.

As revealed by Money Marketing last week, the firm issued 20,000 letters to policyholders telling them it would be withdrawing the self-investment option on its closed book of deferred Sipp business from January 2008. However, it then issued a statement last week saying it had no intention of withdrawing the option.

A spokeswoman says: “On this occasion, we regret this letter was issued in error. Tomorrow would like to make it clear that at no time did it have any intention of withdrawing this option.”

Syndaxi Financial Planning director Robert Reid says he thinks Tomorrow was told by an external party to keep the self-investment option on the deferred Sipp because to remove it was not treating customers fairly.

Reid says: “It is quite clear that Tomorrow does not know what day it is. I think that someone externally has picked up on this and that they have been told quietly to behave themselves.”

AJ Bell chief executive Andy Bell says: “The original approach seems to be the right one commercially but it may be that the notification process has got ahead of the decision-making, leading to an embarrassing climbdown.”

The Pal Partnership business development director Richard Mattison says: “What on earth are they doing? Somebody has screwed up royally. I think they realised they were going to lose a lot of clients by doing this. Calling it a backtrack is an understatement.”

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