Why we value integrity and transparency

In light of the new normal we’ve all had to adapt to over the past year, at the mercy of an ever-evolving pandemic that continues to rip up the rulebook on our way of life, it’s fair to say that having a keen eye on our money and financial plans couldn’t be any more important than it is right now.

That’s why, unsurprisingly, we’re hearing more often in the news about investors putting more time and attention on where their money is held and just how hard it is working for them to provide that security and stability we could all really do with.

The SIPP industry is riding that wave of interest and buzz from those looking to get smarter with their money and plans for retirement, especially amongst millennials. During 2020, the number of SIPP investors between the ages of 25 and 34 – both men and women – increased by 200 per cent and 185 percent, respectively.

That’s a hell of a lot more interest, which is why it’s equally important each of those investors are thinking especially carefully about the value a smaller, growing provider such as PSG SIPP puts on integrity, transparency and excellent service, whilst resisting the urge to get carried away with clever marketing techniques and promises of low-cost fees that perhaps larger, more ambiguous providers appear to be offering.

Beware hidden fees
Just like the appeal of a cheap flight ticket with a low budget airline (remember them?), it’s important to never get carried away with headline fees. This couldn’t be truer when considering the costs of establishing a SIPP with a new provider. On the surface these fees can look more attractive but when you drill down, things are usually not as they seem.

Sadly, many of these new investors, inspired by current events, will come to learn that our industry is full of providers who do not put as much value on integrity as we do. Some providers will often hide the true costs of administrating their SIPPs beneath reams of small print, or elsewhere.

SIPPS are complex in nature and reliant on a host of third parties to organise on behalf of clients. Any provider suggesting this isn’t the case is likely living on borrowed time with the regulator. We’ve always prided ourselves on being fair and transparent when it comes to fees, which is why our Services and Fees document has been criticised for being quite a lengthy read. Putting advisers and clients at the heart of what we do, means we’ve already taken onboard this valuable feedback.

With a clever and fresh design approach we’ve recently worked to make our fees a little less exhausting on the eye. But what remains in place and always will is the fact that we are not afraid to give our clients a full and honest picture of what the true costs of a PSG SIPP are to them. We currently still offer a one page fee summary but are working to make this obsolete. But, caution should be exercised when viewing any provider’s fees that appear to be set out in full on one page. With regulation comes complex responsibilities and unfortunately, that means that sometimes you just have to make the time to engage with the detail.

Offering great service
“Treat clients like you want to be treated yourself”, “put yourself in the client’s position”, “treat client investments as if they were your own”. All phrases that are too often thrown about by companies operating in the financial services industry which invariably carry little substance behind them.

Like all other regulated firms, it is true that we have a duty of care to uphold for each of our clients. Beyond this we recognise that each of our clients have their own set of unique circumstances and challenges. It is an appreciation of the importance of the matter to our client, the provision of easily understandable information and parting with our expertise and knowledge, that sets us apart.

It is not great service to compromise on integrity merely to win business. Of course, Financial Advisers and Clients alike want things to be as quick and painless as possible. So do we. But, products that are complex and tightly regulated can only be presented as simple to a limited degree and we believe that our desire to make sure that we are communicating everything clients and their advisers need to know, rather than just want to know, is what integrity and great service looks like.

“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters”.
Albert Einstein.

When we speak of integrity and transparency in all that we do, we often think of this quote. Existing and new investors put great trust in us to recognise them as more than just a number, to look after their money and to help them achieve their financial goals. They deserve to be rewarded with a provider who can be trusted on all these matters. A provider like us.


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