Friday, 03 February 2017 10:20

Sipps expert criticises 'very vague' FCA cap ad guidance

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A Sipps expert has criticised guidance on complying with the new capital adequacy rules, describing some of it as “very vague”.

Claire Trott, head of pensions strategy at Technical Connection, also believes that smaller providers are likely to encounter greater levels of inspection as and when the FCA begins to crackdown on enforcing the regulations.

Ms Trott was speaking to new Financial Planning Today digital magazine.

After much debate over a period of years the new rules finally came into force in September. Now Sipps professionals are turning their attention to how they are going to be enforced.

Ms Trott expects the FCA to begin visits to firms within the first year of the introduction.

She said: “I suspect that the smaller firms will bear the brunt of them, however unfair this is.”

She said: “Reporting has started and if there are any anomalies then they will be flagged up very quickly, this however won’t address firms interpretation of the guidance that has been issued. Some of the guidance is still very vague and help hasn’t really been that forthcoming.”

Mark Smith, operations director at Mattioli Woods, said he would like to know how the FCA intends on reviewing firms who may not meet the new requirements and how it will ensure that firms have correctly identified non-standard assets.

He added: “If enforcement action is taken, how does it propose to deal with the problems of appointing a new scheme administrator where commercially that may be difficult?”

Nigel Bennett, sales & marketing director, InvestAcc, said: “As the new requirements bed in, we expect the FCA to closely monitor the quarterly returns made and to take appropriate action should they identify any issues or concerns, particularly any with the potential for consumer detriment.”

The FCA told FP Today it has been collecting regulatory data from Sipp operators since September and has systems in place to monitor this.

The FCA stated: “Where our monitoring identifies potential issues with a firm’s capital adequacy or with another area of a firm’s business, we will take appropriate action with that firm.”

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Last modified on Friday, 03 February 2017 10:27
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