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Curtis Banks buys Montpelier Sipp assets

Bristol-based Sipp administrator Curtis Banks has bought the book of business of troubled Sipp provider Montpelier Sipp Administration Services (MPAS).

Last month New Model Adviser® revealed Montpelier Group was looking to sell MPAS. However, an auditor’s report included in MPAS’s annual results expressed ‘uncertainty’ that MPAS could continue as a going concern and warned ‘the nature and complexity’ investments held in its Sipps could make a sale difficult.

However, Curtis Banks managing director Rupert Curtis said it had examined the investments and was 'satisfied’.

‘We have the capacity to cope with that book of business,’ he said. ‘There is a difference between what the company was in isolation,’ he said. ‘On its own, where it was, there were worries. But we have the experience to deal with them. We have looked at what the investments are and we are satisfied.’

Curtis confirmed that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) liaised with both firms before the deal was struck. The deal has brought the firm around 1,400 Sipps and MPAS’s adviser connections.

Curtis said the deal would make the business more secure. ‘I think that in this day and age it’s clear the FSA has a high expectation of Sipp providers,’ he said.

‘Firms need to have an infrastructure in place and be decently sized.  So this deal gets us to that sort of level.  We were viable anyway but this gives us critical mass. Sipps are a numbers game; the more income you have the better you are able to support your infrastructure.  This will reassure advisers that we have the infrastructure and are a decent size.’

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