Welcome to the ninth edition of our newsletter ‘Spectrum in Occitanie, Finance in Focus’, brought to you by your Occitanie team of advisers Derek Winsland, Philip Oxley and Sue Regan, with Rob Hesketh now consulting from the UK.
In this our first newsletter of the year, it is appropriate we say a fervent goodbye to 2020 and look forward to what we all hope will be a better and much kinder year. Although we are heartily sick of hearing the B-word, we can’t let the passing of the UK’s exit from the European Union pass without addressing the question “where do we stand now?” We also invite our investment partners to give their views on the markets for the coming year.
Post Brexit Situation
As far as financial services are concerned, it is (at this stage) a no-deal Brexit. Financial services in the UK employs 1.1 million people, yet so far more time has been spent negotiating fishing rights than financial markets access between Europe and the UK. This financial services relationship between the two sides will be discussed and negotiated over the coming months. What does this currently mean for us expats? We have already seen:
- Banks threatening to close down bank accounts, because they struggle to find solutions for the ongoing servicing of non-UK resident account holders.
- Financial institutions no longer being allowed to ‘passport’ their services into Europe – UK based investment managers, and Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) being just two examples of this. To continue to offer services, each must now open European offices and apply to be regulated through the relevant EU regulatory system
- We’ve seen the application of duties to goods imported from the UK from online shopping, a totally new concept for most of us
- The need to apply for a French Driving Licence
These are but a few of the bureaucratic changes brought about by Britain’s exit from the EU.
We have covered some of these Brexit consequences in previous editions of our newsletter, but there is perhaps a more serious implication for those who hold UK investment bonds.