As many of you will know , as part of our own process of due diligence and review , we regularly meet with our Banking partners to ensure that the services remain appropriate to our SIPPs and SSASs.

This involves looking at the administrative requirements in the face of regulatory developments that might have occurred over time, as well as some of the more commercial aspects of the relationship.

As a consequence, there are a two matters that I would wish to draw to your attention that relate to the accounts that we have with Handelsbanken:

Firstly, I am delighted to inform you that with immediate effect the interest rate on all accounts will be increasing from 0.18% to 0.22%.

While we understand that the transactional accounts held by SIPPs and SSASs would not be considered as investments per se, in the context of a challenging environment for interest rates generally, we trust this will be viewed very positively by clients.

Of course, I would add that Alltrust does not take any cut of interest from the Bank account (or any other product), and that all of the interest payable by Handelsbanken is credited to pension scheme accounts.

Secondly, we are introducing changes to the client verification process, in light of some stronger demands now being made of the Bank itself to ensure we can all effectively combat the threat of money laundering and financial crime.

The process of verification will undoubtedly require you to obtain copies of the evidence that you use (such as passports, utility bills and so on), and we will now be asking for certified copies of the same for our own files. Many of you provide these documents to us as a matter of course with new applications, for which we are grateful, and we are now looking to extend this as a mandatory requirement to all of our introducers.

The IVC form that we supply also has a few other small amendments, such as confirming the source of funds. In most cases, this will simply require a ‘tick’ against ‘pension transfers’, but other reasons are, of course possible.

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