Recently there have been press releases all over the place giving details of a long awaited joint ABI/AMPS statement designed to ensure that charging structures on SIPPS are communicated clearly and accurately to the consumer.
This is obviously a step in the right direction and welcome - the more clarity clients, and their advisers, receive in their SIPP dealings the better placed they are to make informed decisions.
To my mind though the guidance doesn't go far enough. Nowhere in the example scenarios do the dealing charges really get exposed. There is an example that shows dealing charges as zero - but not one that shows that regular switching of assets (after all a SIPP is designed to be flexible) could seriously inflate the ongoing charges payable. In fact the whole area of investment fees is pretty much disregarded being picked up in the FAQ (aside - has anyone ever found an FAQ that answered there specific question?!) which also gives a cursory nod to the fact that the SIPP provider income may receive other income from bank account interest and investment transactions but with no real transparency in this area. Cost of advice is also strangely absent. Perhaps these areas were out of scope for the guidance - but I can't help feeling we're only addressing some of the issues.
With the FSA starting to drive an agenda around transparency strengthened by TCF and RDR one wonder's whether this latest Good Practice Guidance might fall into the category often detailed on my old school reports - must try harder...
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