Are there dark clouds on the horizon for SIPP providers?
According to Citywire, the FCA is poised to complete further supervisory work on the SIPP industry with a specific focus on non-standard investments. We understand that the FCA has questioned SIPP providers on the number of high risk investments they hold following a spate of complaints about such products in recent years.
SIPP providers have been squarely in the FCA's sights for some time, with various pieces of guidance and warnings dating back to the Guide for SIPP Operators published in 2009. In recent times, there has been an increasing focus on high risk assets and so called 'third generation scams'. Under such scams, SIPP providers and fund managers can end up holding sham investments through no fault of their own. They can also end up carrying the can in cases where the only other party to the transaction was unregulated and outside of the FCA's sphere of influence.
If the FCA are indeed collating information in this area it could be as a precursor to some further industry wide multi-firm review (like the ongoing DB transfer advice review) or targeted supervision of particular firms, including s166 reviews. Obviously we do not know yet what the regulator's intentions are, however, the indication is that the FCA is perhaps finished with giving guidance and (rightly or wrongly) poised to take action.
We will keep a close eye on this and update this blog with any news.
Please click here for a link to the Citywire article.