SIPPs delay ‘pure speculation’, says MP
Lewis was speaking at this week’s Moneyfacts Conference where he was questioned by Chris Cummings, director-general of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI), on rumours a 12-month delay is on the agenda to allow the FSA to “get its head round the changes”.
Lewis denied a year’s grace was being planned but said: “At the moment this is pure speculation but we have to consider the concerns that people have. I can say that we are keeping the situation under review.”
Next year’s ‘A-Day’ (6 April 2006) changes will allow UK and overseas residential property to be placed within a SIPP. The rumours follow concerns that the planned changes have not been adequately outlined and therefore the regulator and industry do not have enough time to prepare fully for them.
Lewis added: “We don’t have a pensions crisis but we do have a pensions challenge. The job of the government is to create a stable economic environment.”
Peter Williams, deputy director-general of the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), also speaking at the conference, agreed the effects on the housing market of the changes to SIPP rules “could be considerable”.
In his address entitled ‘Government Policy and the Personal Finance Sector – Where We Are and What the Future Holds’ Lewis reviewed the challenges facing the UK financial sector. He said: “I believe the financial services sector is in a strong position to respond and overcome these challenges emanating from the EU and globally.”
He also highlighted the FSA’s post-implementation reviews of the mortgage and general insurance regimes and said: “UK business should actively engage with the FSA to ensure proportionate and fair regulation.”