Self-invested personal pension (SIPP) operator, Hartley Pensions, asked the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to impose requirements preventing it from accepting ongoing contributions into the SIPPs/small self-administered schemes (SASS) administered by it, according to the regulator.  

On July 11, the provider also asked the FCA to temporarily stop transfers or switches of SIPPs or SSASs until 22nd July at the earliest.

These restrictions were imposed due to a "number of serious operational and regulatory issues," at the firm, according to the FCA.  

As a result, the operator's clients will not be able to make any new or ongoing contributions into their SIPP or SSAS, or move their SIPP or SSAS to another provider, according to the regulator. It added that even if a request to move was received prior to these requirements being imposed but the SIPP or SSAS still had not been moved, this request will not be processed.

The provider's clients can still regularly withdraw money from their SIPPs, and pension payments will continue to be made as the firm looks out for another SIPP operator able to take over the operation, said the FCA.

Firm details

The provider, trading as Hubwise Hartley SIPP, Resolution SIPP, and Recovery SIPP, was authorized by the FCA in 2016.

On 17 February 2022, the regulator restricted the firm from disposing of, withdrawing, transferring, dealing with, or diminishing its assets without its written consent, according to the FCA register.

A few days later, the FCA prevented the firm from transferring client funds held in its SIPP and SSAS schemes to anyone within or connected to the firm. It also instructed the firm to hold its client funds in a bank account set up for each member at a deposit-taker authorized by the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Then in March, the FCA stopped the firm from accepting new clients without its consent. On 1 June 2022, the firm was ordered to comply with the liquid capital requirement.

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has upheld eight cases against the firm.

In August 2019, the provider bought the former SIPP provider GPC SIPP, which had entered insolvency a few months prior. The deal included the effective transfer of GPC SIPPs and SSASs held via the trustee company, Guardian Pension Trustees.

In February 2020, troubled SIPP operator Guinness Mahon was sold to Hartley Pensions after entering administration earlier that month. The sale included around 4,000 SIPPs previously administered by Guinness Mahon.