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News in brief: SSAS cost and transfer delay warning

22 August 2019

Talbot and Muir has warned that some SSAS arrangements are facing significant costs and delays on transfers to a more suitable vehicle, such as a SIPP.

The independent SIPP and SSAS specialist, says that while SSAS arrangements continue to be popular with advisers and their clients, at times it can be necessary  to transfer to a SIPP, for example due to the sale of the sponsoring employer.

However, the firm is coming across many cases it says where SSAS members decide to transfer their SSAS benefits but wish to retain certain assets such as property and are being faced with unjustified charges and administrative delays.

The firm says that while SSAS is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) “it seems unfair clients are not protected by the FCA’s fair treatment of clients Outcome 6, whereby consumers do not face unreasonable post-sale barriers imposed by firms to change product or provider”.

David Bonneywell, director, Talbot and Muir says: “We are seeing a marked increase in the enquiries received from IFA’s in respect of SSAS schemes that wish to move to a SIPP.  One reason for the contact is that these schemes are facing very high costs to transfer and they are looking to see if there are ways to minimise this.  Current administrators appear to be unhelpful with regards to the transfer and are putting restrictive internal red tape in place, in particular when a property is involved.”

To counter this, he adds, “a number of advisers are now recommending that the SSAS changes administrator and professional trustee, and then effects a transfer to a SIPP in a cost efficient and timely manner.”

Tavistock Investments and Walker Crips sign to Intelligent Office

Tavistock Investments plc has chosen Intelliflo’s Intelligent Office as its primary practice management system. The AIM listed financial services group has 200 advisers helping private clients look after more than £3bn of investments, of which over £1bn is managed by its investment business, Tavistock Wealth.

Explaining the decision to go with Intelliflo, Brian Raven, chief executive at Tavistock Investments said: ”We were looking for an established solution to provide our advisers and clients with a robust and reliable system which integrates with the tools we already use. We were also looking for a system which would enable us to develop our own technology and build integrations with other Tavistock platforms. The open architecture available with Intelligent Office’s Open API makes this possible.”

Walker Crips Group is to implement Intelliflo’s Intelligent Office business management system to power its back, middle and front-end processes for its wealth management division. The FTSE SmallCap listed group delivers investment management, stockbroking, Small Self-Administered Scheme (SSAS), Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) administration, RegTech services (SM&CR), and wealth management services to UK retail and intermediary clients.

SME business optimism slumps in face of Brexit

Small and medium-sized companies’ confidence about their business prospectshas slumped in the past year as uncertainty about the Brexit process has increased, according to new research for MetLife UK.

The study was conducted among firms employing between 50 and 300 staff  – which make up around 34,000 companies employing more than 3.3 million people. It found that just half (49%) are optimistic about their future over the next five years. That is dramatically lower than the 76% who said they were optimistic when MetLife UK conducted the research last year.

The numbers who are pessimistic increased to 23% from 7% at the same time last year, with firms highlighting Brexit as the biggest reason preventing their business from growing. More than two out of five (44%) said Brexit is their biggest concern compared with 39% who said profitability is their biggest worry.

However SME owners and managers are split over whether completing or cancelling the Brexit process would be better for their business – 34% said completing Brexit will boost optimism while 35% said cancelling Brexit would be good for their business.

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