Steve Hart, Business Development Director of Curtis Banks writes for Investment Sense:
A recent blog provoked something of a grumpy response from an (ex) IFA who told me I should stop banging on about the same old negative stuff and start saying positive things about SIPPs instead.
His quasi-argument was that the FSA should be focusing on banks and the time the FSA will take to clean them up, which I must admit I didn’t really follow. The analogies are there for SIPPs though; the banks have been clobbered by all the negative stuff and our view is SIPP provider’s houses should be in order to avoid going down the same road.
It’s not all bad news though and now the sun is shining it is as good a time as any too redress the balance and talk about the positive aspects of SIPPs and why they are such a success story. Here are a few of them:
- The big positive is that they have got the public interested in pensions again. Whilst I’ve never gone so far as to claim that SIPPs are sexy (I can think of a few better candidates for that title) they have certainly caught the public’s imagination, and anything which encourages people to think about their pension provision has got to be a good thing.
- SIPPs have clear charging structures – well most of them anyway – and people can see exactly what their pension is costing them.
- The competitiveness in the SIPP market has seen big improvements in terms of quality of service, functionality and cost so all providers have to be on their toes with this and second rate service in our industry just isn’t tolerated.
- The investment choice in SIPPs, responsibly used, is a big positive. Clients can be have their funds actively managed in a way which isn’t possible with other pension products, with full transparency and accountability by the managers they have appointed. The ability to invest in commercial property continues to be a major success story, we have many clients who have bought property and seen big benefits.
- SIPPs are largely RDR compliant, an important topic I know for you at the present time with all the work you are doing to prepare for RDR.
So enjoy the sun while it is here and I just wanted to point out that I do have lots of positive things to say about SIPPs, the market is still strong and we are seeing the benefits.
The opinions contained within this article are those of Curtis Banks and not Investment Sense.