In his latest guest blog for Investment Sense, Martin Tilley, Director of Technical Services at Dentons ponders why some SIPP providers are less forthcoming than others when answering industry surveys.
I read with interest the Money Management special report on SIPPs (Self-Invested Personal Pensions) issued earlier this month, edited by Aimee Steen. The survey is one of the most comprehensive of the market and this year features responses from over 50 SIPP providers covering 68 different SIPP Products.
Being one of the largest surveys of its type I image that independent advisors might look to this document as a useful tool amongst others, and a source of reference when comparing potential suitors for their SIPP clients.
All the more reason why one would think, for the marketing departments of the SIPP providers to step in to demonstrate their product in comparison to others?
However, despite Money Management issuing the survey questionnaire widely, less than half of the FCA authorised and regulated SIPP providers chose to respond and those that did, did not provide all of the information requested. As a useful source of reference then, it diminishes in value.
For example, 32% of the respondents could not confirm a numerical value for the number of SIPPs they had established in the last twelve months, which is unusual since the Regulator requires this information to be collated and reported in the SIPP Providers quarterly returns. Several have provided remarkably round numbers, for several years in a row. One would expect that at the very least, a well run business would wish to maintain this “management information” and particularly so for SIPP cases lost although 40% of the respondents declined to release this information. There is nothing wrong with losing cases. Clients retire and buy annuities, use flexible drawdown and draw out their pot. Some sell the non standard assets that required them to have a SIPP in the first place and move to a more economic vehicle.
Similarly in the commercial property section of the report, two providers could provide an average property value but not the number of properties within their book whilst other providers could determine the number of properties but not break them down between UK, overseas, hotel rooms or land banking.
Perhaps the real reasons for these non disclosures are commercial and the fact that in direct comparison to competitors, certain providers do not want their data analysed. Sometimes saying nothing, says more than you think.
Martin Tilley, Director of Technical Services at Dentons, can be contacted on 01483 521 521 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org