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Capital decision creates certainty for SIPP Providers

The summer months are usually very quiet from a regulation perspective as the holiday season is in full swing, not this year for the world of SIPP Providers.

The FCA issued its Dear CEO Letter on 22nd July in response to the third thematic review which took place in Q4 of 2013 quickly followed by the long awaited policy statement on Capital Adequacy on 4th August. This in conjunction with further clarity on the Freedom and Choice in Pensions has meant that SIPP Providers have had a wide choice of summer beach reading.

The consultation paper in relation to the capital requirements of SIPP Providers was in response to the high profile failures of SIPP Providers and the associated costs of moving a book of SIPPs to a new provider. The aim of the new regulation is to ensure that firms exiting the market are adequately resourced to pay the costs of transferring a book of SIPP business without the need to use clients pension funds.

The key things to note from the policy statement are:

  • SIPP Providers capital adequacy will be based on Assets under Administration (AUA).
  •  UK Commercial Property, Gold bullion, National Savings and Investment products, Bank Account Deposits, Units in Regulated Collective Investment Schemes have all been classified as standard assets.
  •  The minimum capital a SIPP Provider will be required to hold is to increase from £5,000 to £20,000.
  •  The new rules come in to force on the 1st September 2016.

 

Whilst the long overdue decision is welcome, as it can now allow the SIPP Provider sector a degree of certainty about its future, as with all new legislation, the devil is in the detail and the practical interpretations of the new requirements.

Gillian Bardin, managing director, said “For bespoke providers, such as Taylor Patterson, who manage their exposure to non standard assets, the new capital requirements do not pose any potential issues.

We are a well capitalised SIPP Provider who already meets the requirements of the new capital regime.”

For further detail on the policy statement click http://www.fca.org.uk/your-fca/documents/policy-statements/ps14-12

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