Curtis Banks eyes further acquisitions

Curtis Banks eyes further acquisitions

Curtis Banks is actively seeking self-invested personal pension books to acquire following the launch of its Sipp product earlier this year.

As part of its interim results for the six months to June 30, 2019, published today (September 5), Curtis Banks said despite challenges within the Sipp market it will continue to explore acquisition opportunities but will only acquire books that can bring value.

Will Self, chief executive officer at Curtis Banks, said: “Acquisitions remain firmly part of our strategy and as one of the UK’s leading Sipp providers we are well positioned to continue to consolidate the Sipp market.

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“The acquisition of the Hargreave Hale book of Sipps is now integrated into the group. This has contributed to circa 600 new Sipps for the group.

“We continue to explore acquisition opportunities and have developed a flexible approach to transactions ensuring that we can target customer outcomes whilst also working alongside firms with their strategic reviews. 

“We will only acquire assets that are a genuine value proposition and are value and earnings accretive.”

In February, Curtis Banks launched the ‘Your Future Sipp’ product which brought together elements of products previously offered by Curtis Banks and Suffolk Life.

The company then launched an online portal for advisers to support its new Sipp at the end of February.

The provider said it was now in the final stages of enhancing its digital Sipp, with almost 60 per cent of Your Future Sipp applications being made online.

Mr Self said: “As one of the UK’s leading Sipp providers, creating a new product was a necessary step for the future of the group and was constructed based on detailed feedback from advisers on what would appeal. 

“This proposition is now supported by a nationwide adviser support network which has already introduced 102 new productive adviser relationships.”

The provider stated it was not concerned about industry pressure over unregulated investments in Sipps.

Mr Self said Curtis Banks had cleaned up all its legacy products to remove the risk of illiquid investments.

He said: “The Sipp market is continuing to evolve; a number of Sipp providers face an uncertain future as they clean up legacy books which contain illiquid investments resulting in the reduction of product innovation. 

“We continue to carry out robust due diligence on non-standard investments and our new product has a clear schedule of allowable investments. 

“As a result we believe that our business is largely immune from many of these industry pressures and we do not consider them to be a material ongoing risk.”

The number of Sipps administered by the firm in the first six months of 2019 was down 0.5 per cent on last year, from 77,552 in H1 2018 to 77,175 now.

The provider also saw a 3 per cent increase in fee income from its Sipp book to £18.3m. 

Across the business profit before tax increased by 14 per cent to £5.4m, up from £4.8m in the first six months of 2018.