I’ve just been in a conversation with Alan about Brexit and how it has affected his ability to help his clients living outside of the UK and in the EU. Here’s what he had to say about it. If you’re a British national and live outside the UK and you’re worried about how Brexit will affect your finances or UK investments, it’s worth reading!
It’s been five, long years since Brexit was first discussed as a real possibility and this year, it finally became a dreaded reality. That said, I fought hard to stop it – because of so many reasons but one of those reasons is very dear to my heart. My overseas clients.
With Brexit now complete, it means I can no longer advise my many clients living outside of the UK. One of the sad consequences of Brexit is that all UK Financial Advisers have lost their European Financial Advice passport. That means I can no longer advise you if you don’t live in the UK. I’ve spent quite a lot of time contacting my clients in Ireland, Spain, France – even Croatia – to tell them that I can no longer help.
It’s a great shame. Many of my clients in those countries have become personal friends and I looked forward to speaking to them on a regular basis. I can still chat to them, but not formally advise on finance. There’s more to it too. Many of my long-standing clients outside of the UK have investments held in the UK. Those investments are subject to the UK’s taxation rules. No one knows what’s going to happen, because at the moment, there’s no decision on how long people living in the EU can keep their investments in the UK, or what the tax implication will be! As soon as I know anything more, I will of course, update you all. As well as the obvious problem attached to the investments in the UK issue, there are already limitations. If you live in the EU and have investments in the UK, you can’t add to them and your investment choices are restricted plus if you draw funds from your investment, they must be paid into a UK bank account. While most of my foreign clients have a UK bank account, there’s no official guidelines as to how long they can keep those accounts and as we all know, nothing is guaranteed. Lots of banks have already closed their accounts for EU residents – for example, Barclays, Lloyds and HSBC.
Now, there is one option that could be a possibility if you live outside the UK, have UK investments, and find yourself affected by Brexit. You could engage a Financial Adviser in your country of residence. I might have some contacts and if so, I’d be willing to give you details, if this sounds like a good option for you. The other option would be to withdraw all of your investments to your country’s bank, outside of the UK of course.
As soon as I know more or if I think of any other way to navigate the impact of having UK investments when you live in the EU, I will communicate the information to you.
In the meantime, if this affects you, please get in touch and I’ll be happy to try and help! At the very least, we’ll have a good catchup!