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Curtis Banks targets networks with new Sipp

Curtis Banks targets networks with new Sipp

Self-invested personal pension (Sipp) provider Curtis Banks is launching a new Sipp which will allow automated adviser charging and offer an overhauled charging structure.

Will Self, deputy chief executive officer at Curtis Banks, told FTAdviser the new product will replace all of the existing products of both brands, Curtis Banks and Suffolk Life.

He said: "From an adviser perspective, there has been a real requirement for a greater level of functionality around automated adviser charging. We put that into the new product, which allows an adviser to agree with the underlying customer at outset what level of fees they will be taking and which can be paid on an automated basis."

He said the new charging structure would allow clients to pay based on the services they use, which means "if a client comes in and they just use a discretionary fund manager they get one fee, if they look to purchase a commercial property they get a different fee.

"We also looked at drawdown functionalities, to make sure there's the right level of flexibility and the right level of charging to go alongside that," he added.

Curtis Banks, which currently administers a total of 77,552 Sipps, has been working on setting up a new sales structure which will accommodate the product.

This structure will have an additional strand focusing on national networks and partnerships, Mr Self said.

"We are very well placed now to get greater penetration across the UK with our products," he added.

The new Sipp will be available to a select number of advisers before the end of the year, with a full market launch scheduled for early 2019.

The firm also plans to retrospectively apply certain elements of the functionality to its back book throughout the year. But it added "it won't be a mandatory requirement for all legacy products to upgrade to the new product".

Mr Self said despite the improvements there would not be "material changes" to the product's fees, which remained undisclosed. 

Paul Gibson, managing director of Granite Financial Planning, said the changes meant Curtis Banks was catching up with its competitors”.

He said: "(This is) nothing revolutionary but it does seem to be moving in the right direction regarding flexibility and choice."

The Sipp provider is also on the market looking for new acquisitions, Rupert Curtis (pictured), chief executive of Curtis Banks, told FTAdviser.

He said: "The position has changed from a year ago, when we were very much consolidating what he had in front of us. Now we are actively looking at acquisitions, having a number of conversations at the moment, which we hope will lead to something."

The acquisition of Suffolk Life was concluded last May, with the number of Sipps administered by Curtis Banks doubling after the deal.

Mr Curtis said the firm was not interested in distressed books.

"We are looking for quality books, volume, and books that are very much aligned with our own business model in terms of advice business, large fund sizes," he said.