SSAS bank accounts

FA2004 enabled SSAS to operate within HMRC’s Registered Pension Scheme rules without the need for an incumbent third-party professional trustee (PT).

Forum members may be aware that UK banks, fearing becoming embroiled in “pension-busting” arrangements, will now no longer open new current accounts for SSAS where there is no PT and are now moving to close existing SSAS accounts unless a PT is appointed (who must also be a co-signatory) – this approach is being applied to all SSAS accounts irrespective of longevity and compliance track record.

I approached the Revenue for their view as regards the SSAS trustees opening a joint personal current account and holding this as bare trustees/nominees for the SSAS trustees and they are happy with said arrangement. However, upon putting this to a UK bank, they will not open an account where such an arrangement is disclosed.

I have suggested various tweaks to the above accounts (such as placing various restrictions upon withdrawals), but to no avail.

No disrespect to our Pensioneer Trustee forum members, but, in my view, SSAS should be able to operate without a PT if they wish to, so any help as to a solution would be much appreciated.

Paul Storrie
Storrie & Company

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Not entirely sure how this works but I am in desperate need of a bank account for my newly registered SSAS - all above board with HMRC etc but as is clear most banks are running a mile.

Is there anyone willing to open an account without a professional trustee?

Failing that are there professional trustees prepared to take a “less active” role as previous experience was very frustrating?

Any help or ideas most welcome.

Thank you.

Simon Edgar
Hyland Edgar Driver

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I have had helpful correspondence with the Revenue on this matter which I would be happy to send you copies of if you can let me have your email address please.

I have managed to open an account for a SSAS without a professional trustee with Handelsbanken, so they might be worth a try.

Paul Storrie

Storrie & Company

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All sounds terribly familiar…I’m actually starting to feel like running a SSAS is some form of criminal activity.

I’ve set up a SIPP & SSAS saver with Investec (under my pension scheme name) and they have been really helpful. I can’t do anything online but I can receive payments, send email requests to pay out up to £20K and pay out larger sums in writing. It’s a 30 day notice account.

Paul, I would love to have copies of the correspondence with the Revenue. I had a helpful discussion with them a few years ago but when I approached them recently they said that they would view payments into a trustee bare account for a SSAS as unauthorised.

Nick Gilbert
Net Intentions

Yes Investec used to be very good for me with my SSAS accounts. I dont have a professional trustee. But they stopped offering SSAS accounts a couple of years ago. Struggling to find any banks to work with me at this rate.

My question to Pensions Technical at HM Revenue & Customs was:

“Please confirm that you have no objection to SSAS (which are UK registered pension schemes) placing their funds into a bank account/s in the joint personal names of the scheme trustees with a declaration by the account holders that they hold said monies as nominees/bare trustees for the scheme trustees – these will be separate accounts from any others in the account holders’ personal names and will hold only SSAS monies.”

The Revenue’s response was:

“I can confirm that there would be no objection to the proposed bank account from our viewpoint.”

The answer I got from the technical team was not as helpful. But didn’t entirely close the door, instead passing the buck to the Pensions Regulator. I expect the problem that you would have in doing this in practice is getting money into a personal trust account from a pension account where the names on the transferor account don’t exactly match that on the transferee account. Most banks are now very officious in this respect.

Hi Paul,

Would it be possible to have any copies of correspondence confirming HMRC’s non objection as I too am looking to do the same. If this is not possible, Just the email address you used to make the enquiry at HMRC would be very helpful as I Could contact hem to ask the same question and hopefully get the same confirmation

Many thanks