Sipp firms divided on ‘gatekeeper’ responsibilities
Sipp providers are torn over whose responsibility it is to ensure investments placed on Sipps are sound.
Stewart Dick, head of sales at Hornbuckle Mitchell, which also included the Sustainable Growth investment initially but later removed it following issues raised in ongoing due diligence, said: “It is a dual responsibility between the provider and the adviser.
“The provider needs to make sure it [the investment] meets HMRC regulations and that it complies with their own pension scheme rules.”
All of the providers questioned agreed that Sipp providers have no responsibility over ensuring suitability of the investment for an individual. “That’s clearly the role of the adviser”, Mr Kingston said.
A spokesman for the Financial Services Authority directed FTAdviser to its factsheet on Sipps, which says: “Our recent review of SIPP operators found a misconception that treating customers fairly only applies to firms who give advice.
Another part of the factsheet says: “Although the client’s advisers are responsible for the Sipp investment advice given, as a Sipp operator you have responsibility for the quality of the Sipp business you administer.”