SIPP 

Sipp acquisition boosts profits at EBS Pensions

Sipp acquisition boosts profits at EBS Pensions

Self-invested personal pension provider EBS Pensions has returned to profit following the acquisition of the Option Sipp last year, according to its latest financial results.

According to the company’s financial results for the year ended December 31 2018, out this week, EBS achieved a pre-tax profit of £1.55m after making a loss of £0.12m in the previous year.

The company, which is owned by Embark, also saw client numbers increase 89 per cent to 31,452 in the year.

It stated this was partly due to the acquisition of the Option Sipp in late 2018 which significantly increased the size and reach of the business.

In October 2018 EBS Pensions purchased all trading assets of Liberty Sipp. EBS Pensions then rebranded the Liberty Sipp as the Option Sipp.

Paul Downing, director of EBS, said: "2018 was another transitional year for EBS. The acquisition of the Option Sipp product produced a major positive catalyst in the latter part of the year, and we will now see scale benefits coming to the fore as we move forward at pace."

By the end of April 2019, the Option Sipp had about £2.8bn assets under administration from about 13,000 clients.

Following the transaction, Liberty Sipp retained its liabilities and will pay out on any claims using the assets that it holds.

In May 2018, before the Sipp was taken over by EBS Pensions, a group of investors initiated claims against Liberty over the way the Sipps were set up.

The claimants held the likes of Ethical Forestry, Sustainable AgroEnergy and Gravity Child Care in their Sipps, which had been introduced to them by six unregulated firms.

Following this, in December 2018, the Financial Ombudsman Service (Fos) held Liberty accountable for losses of £36,200 after it allegedly failed to carry out due diligence on unregulated investments in its Sipps.

amy.austin@ft.com

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