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FCA admits 'lessons learned' from timing of Sipp review
by William Robins on Oct 08, 2013 at 12:35
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has admitted the timing and deadline of a questionnaire that formed the basis of a thematic review into the Sipp market, had not been thought through by its predecessor the Financial Services Authority (FSA).
The regulator has also rejected calls for a Sipp specific sourcebook.
The FCA has published finalised guidance for Sipp operators following original findings published last October. The thematic review was based on a questionnaire sent to providers in 2011.
In April 2011 the questionnaire was sent to 72 Sipp firms, with a two week deadline for responses, just before the Easter and Royal Wedding bank holiday weekends.
One respondent to the thematic review raised concerns over the timing of the questionnaire with then financial secretary to the Treasury Mark Hoban, through his local MP.
The FCA said: ‘The respondent commented on the timing of the original thematic work. He felt issuing the questionnaire, with a two week deadline, at the start of a period of two bank-holiday weekends was not good practice. While not having a direct impact on the thematic report or guidance consultation, we would agree the implications do not appear to have been considered by the original project team. This should be taken forward as a lesson learned.’
Respondents to last year’s thematic review on Sipps included the Association of Member Directed Pension Schemes (Amps) which called for a specific Sipp sourcebook, to help providers follow FCA guidance.
In its response Amps said 75% of its members called for a specific Sipp sourcebook. However the FCA said it has no plans to produce one.
Amps told the FCA that 93% of its members which response to an online survey, believed their senior management were sufficiently aware of the regulatory requirements prior to the publication of the thematic review
However the FCA said its review did not back up that level of awareness.
‘Our thematic findings evidenced a lack of, previous, regulatory experience within the senior management of over half the Sipp operators reviewed and a widespread poor understanding of their regulatory responsibilities for the quality of business they administer.’
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