Embark chief defends Sipp provider's profit loss

Embark chief defends Sipp provider's profit loss

The chief executive of Embark Group has defended the operating loss reported for its self-invested personal pension provider business.

Over 2015 Embark Services, previously known as Hornbuckle Mitchell, reported a £1.5m loss while turnover fell 10.6 per cent to £11.3m over the year, according to its company account filings

Phil Smith, chief executive of Embark Group said: "The operating losses we reported in our 2015 accounts were fully in line with our expectations.

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"Our performance excluding interest margin returns remains profitable; however, the business continues to invest in a significant multi-million pound programme to invest in technology and whilst this will impact our short term performance it will result in the business establishing an exceptional footing for future growth and financial performance.

"We are in a period of clear transition for the business as we continue to move way from a traditional paper-based operation to embracing a cutting-edge technology-enabled customer experience."

He added the business is of a scale and strength that it is able to invest in this way and shareholders are more than prepared to fund this investment for the long-term benefit of its consumers.

Mr Smith said: "Since these results, in the current financial year, we have gone on to acquire two material capabilities in the form of Rowanmoor and Avalon. We have deployed extensive capital to do so and have done so with the full support of the FCA."

Embark Services changed its name from Hornbuckle Mitchell in January this year and in July Embark Group bought Rowanmoor, bringing the combined assets of the group to £8.1bn.

In February last year, the firm was ordered by the Pensions Ombudsman to pay £1,500 compensation to one of its clients, following a catalogue of delays on a transfer which deprived the complainant of making further investments.

Pension ombudsman Tony King “partly upheld” a complaint at that time made against the Hornbuckle Mitchell Personal Pension Plan for failing to complete a transfer of funds between two US dollar bank accounts held in the Sipp on a timely basis.