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Investment Due Diligence


An important subject this one, with increased regulatory interest in the more unusual investments held by SIPPs, the advisers who promote them and the SIPP companies which allow them.

As an experienced SIPP provider, we have the expertise to assess all types of investment. A positive selling point for us, we might think, but the reality is that we spend our time looking at proposals and then turning them down as being inappropriate. We get grumpy because we've spent a lot of senior time on something, and the adviser and client get grumpy because we asked them for loads of information and then turned it down.

To make this work better, we're changing the way we do things and publishing a list of those investments we will most likely turn down as not appropriate - you can find this in our revised Investments notes on the website, together with the reasons why we think they are inappropriate. Generally these are things we haven't been allowing anyway, but the idea is that if we flag them up like this then it helps everyone know what the score is.

We're not saying we would never ever allow one of these investments, there can be cases where the right sort of investment and the right sort of client would make it possible. We need to carry out full due diligence, though, and our minimum fee for this is £500, and sorry but we do need to charge this whether the investment goes ahead or not.

By the way, you won't find commercial property on the list, so don't be discouraged from putting these to us, we like doing them and have the expertise here to do a thorough job.

Crystal ball gazing, will we get to a point where all SIPPs say no to unusual investments? It's certainly heading that way, it wouldn't worry us as this isn't our mainstream business, and I guess it isn't mainstream business for most of you as well, but I guess some might take the view that it would be a shame if SIPPs went that way.     

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