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SIPP Transfers Revisited

04.06.2010

It's been a while since I blogged about SIPPs transferring to other providers, (see New Years Resolution blog) but that's not because it isn't happening. If anything it's on the increase, so it's worth another look.

Annual SIPP surveys are now backing up what we're seeing with our own eyes, that some providers are losing clients and we (and I'm sure others as well) are the beneficiaries. Whilst the SIPP market as a whole is booming, many larger providers are showing very small year-on-year increases and in some cases falls in client numbers - the inescapable conclusion is that they are losing more clients than before.

This is not an attack on one specific provider but the fact is that poor service is always the driver for change and it seems to be on the increase. Clients and advisers are fed up with it, and it goes beyond frustration at things taking a long time. It means errors, missed investment opportunities, decisions made on incorrect information, regulatory penalties, making formal complaints etc etc.

In short all very time consuming and damaging. Even worse for advisers is that there is a real risk that their own client relationship is in danger of being damaged when service levels fall through no fault of their own - they are being caught in the cross fire and can ill afford to do so.

Of course a transfer to another SIPP provider must be justified, like any other pension transfer - issues such as confirming the client's needs, product suitability, charges, attitude to risk etc all apply and advisers are aware of this. Not all SIPPs will transfer - SIPPs with borrowing are a particular difficulty and advisers may be faced with historical SIPPS that perhaps should not be in SIPPS at all.

Transfers are happening though, and it's only right that advisers should be able to suggest to clients that they move to someone who can do a better job for them. One of the biggest surprises for me over the past year has been just how many advisers are fed up with their current SIPP provider and wanting to move away from them. Through agreeing a sensible fee structure and taking on the bulk of the workload from the adviser this is now being put into action and it will be interesting to see some of the numbers in next year's SIPP surveys.

Curtis Banks have solid experience of pension transfers, from a range of providers. If you and your clients are fed up with your current provider and looking for better options, give me a call and I promise you there is a better option.

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