However, in recent months we have seen several small companies enter the market - so what role do you think the small SIPP provider will play going forward?
My view is that consolidation is still on the agenda. There is little doubt that some of the sub-scale SIPP providers will be feeling the pinch of lower interest rates (hitting their income stream from cash account balances) plus the additional burden of regulatory scrutiny. The FSA review of small SIPP operators has highlighted this burden by graphically pointing out some of the shortcomings in terms of management information and how this is a necessity when looking at key initiative like ‘treating customers fairly'. Having said that there is still room in the market for smaller SIPP players that are well run and have a distinct and compelling customer proposition. Perhaps in this respect it is some of the medium sized players that will be looking for acquisition ‘partners'. Some way off but we could be looking at polarisation with a number of large mainstream players and then smaller bespoke / boutique providers.
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