Viewing posts categorised under: Le Tour de Finance

Le Tour de Finance – autumn seminars

By Spectrum IFA - Topics: Le Tour de Finance
This article is published on: 7th November 2017

07.11.17
Le Tour de Finance

Le Tour de Finance came to the wonderful Chateau La Coste near Aix-en-Provence and was once again, a resounding success.   Over 50 guests came along to listen to a number of industry experts talking about issues effecting expats.

These independent industry experts spoke about highly topical issues such as the proposed changes to the French tax system, pensions, international banking, foreign exchange, assurance vie, discretionary fund management and Brexit.

The event was hosted by The Spectrum IFA Group’s Christopher Tagg and Victoria Lewis, Spectrum’s local adviser explaining how she provides practical financial solutions for expatriates living in France. Other industry experts on hand form their Head Offices around Europe included; Tilney, Momentum, Rathbones, Standard Bank, SEB Life International, Old Mutual and prudential International.

The subjects open for discussion are wide ranging, relevant to expats living in France and the guests are readily invited to participate in the open forum.

Le Tour de Finance will be back in the Spring of 2018 and to learn more about Le Tour de Finance, please click here or visit the dedicated Le Tour de Finance website.

Le Tour de Finance visits “Escape to the Chateau”

By Spectrum IFA - Topics: Events, France, Le Tour de Finance
This article is published on: 19th October 2017

19.10.17

Following recent successful events in Aix-en-Provence and Carcassonne, Le Tour moved north to the Mayenne, before heading on-wards to Clecy and Lanvallay. The first event this week event took place at the Chateau de la Motte Husson, the “star” of Channel 4’s Escape to the Chateau.

Le Tour de Finance is a series of financial forums designed to give expatriates in France access to various financial experts. Hosted by The Spectrum IFA Group’s Christopher Tagg, topics covered were the tax advantages of Assurance Vie by SEB Life’s Jeremy Ferguson, Calum Harkiss of Currencies Direct answered questions relating to Foreign Exchange, Mark Ommanney of Tilney gave his views on the current state of the markets, Paul Forman of Momentum Pensions tried to help make sense of the complex UK pension rules and talked about QROPs and Prudential’s Edny Van Den Broek spoke about investing for the risk averse. Spectrum’s Michael Doyle gave a practical example of how our experts services provide practical financial solutions and benefits for expatriates living in France.

Finally, a vote of thanks to the day’s attentive hosts, Dick and Angel Strawbridge.

To learn more about Le Tour de Finance and to registered or find out about future events please click here or visit the dedicated Le Tour de Finance website

Le Tour de Finance – Autumn 2017

By Spectrum IFA - Topics: Le Tour de Finance
This article is published on: 21st September 2017

21.09.17

As we leave summer behind and gently enter the autumn months, we look forward to the next leg of the ever popular Le Tour de Finance in France.

During October, the team shall be visiting:
5th October – Le Puy Sainte Réparade (13610 ) – Book your place
6th October – Gayda, Languedoc (11300) – Book your place
17th October – Martigné sur Mayenne (53470)- Book your place
18th October – Clecy (14570) – Book your place
19th October – Lanvallay (22100) – Book your place

The venues for these next five events have been carefully chosen to bring even more enjoyment to the attendees. Wonderful vineyards, grand chateaux and beautiful golf courses.

Thus far, Le Tour de Finance in 2017 is proving to be the most popular series of events ever. The seminars offer English speaking expats a chance to meet various experts from international companies, involved in providing solutions for expats.

The experts represent a range of international institutions giving attendees unprecedented access to ask those nagging questions about living as an expat in France. Fields of expertise include; Wealth Management, Assurance Vie, Currency Exchange, QROPS/Pensions, Specialist Expat Independent Financial Advice, and Expat Tax Advice.

Representatives from a wide range of international companies such as Tilney, SEB Life, Currencies Direct, Standard Bank, Rathbones, Old Mutual, Prudential International and Momentum Pensions attend the events for a small presentation but more importantly, the events allow attendees to ask direct questions to these experts. This unprecedented access to the experts is what really sets Le Tour de Finance events apart.

The events in October will be visiting the Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade in the Bouches-du-Rhône, Brugairolles in the heart of the Languedoc, Martigné sur Mayenne and Clécy in north western France and, finishing up in Lanvallay Côtes-d’Armor department of Brittany.

Keep an eye open for future events and forums in France, Spain and Italy or contact us here to receive updated information on events in your region.

The objective of Le Tour de Finance is to provide expatriates with useful information relating to their financial lives. We try and cover frequently asked questions that we receive from our clients, however, it would be helpful for us to know what your particular areas of interest might be.

If you have any specific question please contact us here – Le Tour de Finance Questions

Now is the time to review your finances

By Sue Regan - Topics: BREXIT, France, Le Tour de Finance
This article is published on: 18th August 2017

18.08.17

At this time of year not many of us can really be bothered with thinking about pensions, investments and inheritance planning – there’s far more exciting things going on, like holidays, friends and family visits (as long as they don’t stay too long!) and the summer fêtes and festivals in just about every village and town in the region.

This is usually a quiet time for us financial advisers, but this year – not so much – perhaps it’s the “Brexit effect” that is causing more ex-pats to think about their financial future now rather than put it off until after the end of the silly season. Of course, there are still no clear facts as to how Brexit will impact on UK citizens living in France, so planning for it is not easy, but reviewing your situation now will give you a clearer idea of your financial future, whether your plan is to stay in France or return to the UK.

Of course, there is never a wrong time to review your financial health. Regardless of whether or not Brexit actually happens, or whether it is a soft or hard Brexit, things generally change over time, such as pensions and tax legislation, investment performance, physical well-being, income and capital needs………. the list goes on.

These are some of the things that a good financial adviser will discuss with you at a regular review meeting, to make sure that your finances are on track to meet your current needs and longer term goals. It is vital that your pensions and investments are structured in the best possible way to produce a suitable level of return and, at the same time, mitigate taxes as much as possible.

Also, as a French resident, your adopted or default marriage regime can make a huge difference to how your assets are treated for inheritance tax purposes and, by simply changing your regime with the help of a Notaire, the survivor of a couple can be much better protected from the French laws of forced inheritance, as well as other important benefits. Your financial adviser should be able to discuss these matters with you.

As I mentioned in my previous article, the very popular Tour de Finance is once again coming to the stunning Domaine Gayda in Brugairolles 11300, So, if you are concerned about your investments and pensions in a post-Brexit world why not join us at this very popular event where you can meet the team in person and listen to a number of industry experts in the world of financial advice. This year’s event will take place on Friday 6th October 2017. Places are by reservation only and it is always well attended so book your place early by giving me a call or dropping me an email. Our speakers will be presenting updates and outlooks on a broad range of subjects, including:

  • Brexit
  • Financial Markets
  • Assurance Vie
  • Pensions/QROPS
  • French Tax Issues
  • Currency Exchange

Financial advice is needed more than ever in uncertain times and doing nothing can often be an expensive mistake. Hence, if you would like to attend the seminar or would like to have a confidential discussion about your financial situation, you can contact me by e-mail at sue.regan@spectrum-ifa.com or by telephone on 04 67 24 90 95.

The Spectrum IFA Group advisers do not charge any fees directly to clients for their time or for advice given, as can be seen from our Client Charter

Common Reporting Standards

By Derek Winsland - Topics: common reporting standards, Exchange of Information, France, International Bank Accounts, Le Tour de Finance, Residency
This article is published on: 27th July 2017

27.07.17

Over the last few weeks, I’ve witnessed the application of the Common Reporting Standards initiative in action. Firstly, from my bank HSBC requesting information to be transmitted to the tax authorities both here in France as well as in UK. This week, I received an email from a client who has also received a letter again from HSBC enquiring about his residency.

It’s clear that the sharing of financial information between tax authorities of different countries is now in full swing. Annual reporting by every financial institution into its own tax authority was introduced in January 2016 and I’m seeing more and more examples of this in operation. For the tax authorities, residency is the main focus – where has the individual declared residency, and where are that person’s assets held.

We’re at the stage now where that information is being studied by local tax offices and enquiry letters being sent. But what information is being shared? Overseas bank accounts are the most common example, hence HSBC and others enquiring about an account holder’s residency status. Other examples include investment bonds held overseas, ISA accounts, unit trust and investment trust portfolios, share accounts, premium bonds…. the list goes on.

With investments held outside of an insurance-based investment bond, any change of fund either through switching or closure could be liable to capital gains in the hands of the investor, so your local tax office is sure to be interested in learning about this. Income drawn from certain, non-EU jurisdiction investment bonds are viewed very differently here in France. And remember, ISAs carry no tax advantages here, so any switches, partial encashments, or sales of funds made by a UK financial adviser or investment manager could have repercussions for the investor resident in France.

If you’re tax resident in France, you are obliged to list all overseas investments and accounts on your annual tax declaration; non-disclosure can result in fines ranging from €1,500 per account up to €10,000 depending on where the account is held. These fines are also per year of non-disclosure.

Quite often we see situations where doing nothing has proved to be an expensive mistake so if ever there was a time to get your financial affairs in order, it is now before the Fisc comes calling. If you’re resident in France, your local tax office can look back through previous years as well, so long forgotten ISAs cashed in can potentially appear on its radar.

If you would like information on how best to re-organise your investments to make them tax-compliant, we are staging the latest in our series of popular Tour de Finance events in the Limoux area on Friday 6th October. Open to everyone, the event, held at Domaine Gayda in Brugairolles is now in its ninth year. Always a popular event, you are urged to order tickets well in advance. There will be a series of short presentations during the morning, culminating with lunch and an opportunity to sample the local wines. If you would like to attend, please email me for your tickets, numbers are limited, so I urge you not to delay.

Subjects covered during the morning include:
Brexit
Financial Markets
Assurance Vie
Pensions/QROPS
French Tax Issues
Currency Exchange

If you have personal or financial circumstances that you feel may benefit from a financial planning review, please contact me direct on the number below. You can also contact me by email at derek.winsland@spectrum-ifa.com or call our office in Limoux to make an appointment. Alternatively, I conduct a drop-in clinic most Fridays (holidays excepting), when you can pop in to speak to me. Our office telephone number is 04 68 31 14 10.

Ignorance is not always bliss…………..

By Sue Regan - Topics: Assurance Vie, BREXIT, France, Le Tour de Finance, QROPS
This article is published on: 17th July 2017

17.07.17

………..and, in the context of not structuring your investments to the tax regime of the country in which you reside, it can prove to be very costly.

Let’s take the scenario of the savings conscious UK investor who, over the years, has used some of their available cash to build up a nice portfolio of tax-free investments in ISA wrappers, but then decides to take up residency in France. From the date of moving to France the tax-free status of UK ISA is not recognised in France and any income or capital gains arising from the ISA portfolio become liable to French tax.

Not everyone is aware of the tax efficient structures available in France for longer term savings, the most popular of which is far and away the Assurance Vie, and, as a consequence, suffers the pain of incurring tax liabilities where there were none previously, not to mention the extra administrative burden (and accountancy costs) associated with completing the end of year tax return. In addition, they are missing out on the compounding effect that any unnecessary taxes would have on the growth of the portfolio, which, in itself, is a crucial factor which should not be underestimated.

It’s not only the tax-efficiency of ISAs that is affected but, if you have a UK financial adviser advising you on the management of your investments, then it is unlikely that they will be able to continue to give you appropriate advice due to your change in residency and tax regime. You probably wouldn’t have sought the advice of a French regulated IFA to manage your UK investments when you lived in the UK so it doesn’t make sense to expect a UK regulated IFA to advise you when living in a different tax jurisdiction to the one in which they are qualified and regulated.

Of course, making the switch from UK tax efficient savings to French tax efficient savings may not be without some cost at the beginning – but the longer term benefits are highly likely to far outweigh any initial cost. If you have not yet become French resident, by taking the initiative and disposing of your ISA portfolio beforehand, there would be no tax implications whatsoever.

An added attraction to the Assurance Vie is that there is no limit to how much can be invested and the longer you hold them the more tax-efficient they become. In addition, this type of investment is highly efficient for mitigating the potential French inheritance taxes so that your heirs can receive more of your wealth, instead of the French State.

The very popular Tour de Finance is once again coming to the stunning Domaine Gayda in Brugairolles 11300, So, if you are concerned about your investments and pensions in a post-Brexit world why not join us at this very popular event where you can meet the team in person and listen to a number of industry experts in the world of financial advice. This year’s event will take place on Friday 6th October 2017. Places are by reservation only and it is always well attended so book your place early by giving me a call or dropping me an email. Our speakers will be presenting updates and outlooks on a broad range of subjects, including:

Brexit
Financial Markets
Assurance Vie
Pensions/QROPS
French Tax Issues
Currency Exchange

With a newly elected French government now in office and the forthcoming publication of the French Projet de Loi in the Autumn, the seminar will be an ideal opportunity to find out how any potential French tax changes may affect you, particularly as President Macron has promised changes to the wealth tax regime.

Le Tour de Finance

By Spectrum IFA - Topics: Events, France, Le Tour de Finance, Spectrum-IFA Group
This article is published on: 20th June 2017

20.06.17

Le Tour de Finance has just finished another stage of it’s annual tour with three well attended forums in the 06 and 83 departments of the Cote d’Azur.

Due to the lovely early summer evenings, two of the sessions were held from 6.30pm culminating with a relaxed wine presentation and buffet in the lovely settings of the Mas Shabanou in Roquefort les Pins and the Bastide St.Mathieu in Grasse. The third event was held at the normal time of 10.30 in the equally lovely setting of Le Clos des Roses in Frejus.

As part of the long term commitment from the team organising Le Tour de Finance, senior representatives of large financial institutions were on hand to give brief presentations, but more importantly, were there to answer varied questions from the attendees.

Coaxed out from behind their desks, these senior executives from companies such as Tilney, Prudential, Rathbones, Momentum Pensions, SEB and Currencies Direct give short presentations on a range of subjects and then welcome questions from the floor. This really is the chance to get those all important questions answered by the professionals.

This unprecedented access to a range of international and independent experts is what sets Le Tour de Finance events apart.

After the summer recess, Le Tour will continue in October:
5th October – 13610, Le Puy Sainte Réparade
6th October – 11300, Gayda, Languedoc
17th October – 53470, Martigné sur Mayenne
18th October – 14570, Clecy
19th October – 22100, Lanvallay

If you would like further information or would like to book a place, please contact us or visit the dedicated Le Tour de Finance website for further information on the future events.

The objective of Le Tour de Finance is to provide expatriates with useful information relating to their financial lives. We try and cover frequently asked questions that we receive from our clients, however, it would be helpful for us to know what your particular areas of interest might be. If you’d like to send us your question please click here to complete the form.

Le Tour de Finance – spring 2017

By Spectrum IFA - Topics: Events, France, Le Tour de Finance, Spectrum-IFA Group
This article is published on: 7th April 2017

07.04.17

The final three Le Tour de Finance events of the spring season finished in La Roche sur Yon, Niort Bssines and Magnac sur Touvre. The venues for these past three events were spectacular bringing even more enjoyment to the days events for the attendees. The weather was sublime and the events were a huge success.

Thus far, Le Tour de Finance in 2017 is proving to be the most popular series of events ever. The seminars offer English speaking expats a chance to meet various experts from fields including; specialist expat independent financial advice, wealth management, currency exchange, QROPS/pensions and expat tax advice. The experts represent a range of international institutions giving attendees unprecedented access to ask those nagging questions about living as an expat in France.

Representatives from a wide range of international companies such as Tilney, SEB Life, Standard Bank, Rathbones, Prudential International, Momentum Pensions and AXA attend the events for a small presentation but more importantly, the events allow attendees to ask direct questions to these experts. This unprecedented access to the experts is what really sets Le Tour de Finance events apart.

The events will re-commence in June visiting the Alpes Maritime and Var regions. The events locations are Roquefort les Pins, Cabris and Frejus. Keep an eye open for events in France, Spain and Italy or contact us here to receive updated information on events in your region.

The objective of Le Tour de Finance is to provide expatriates with useful information relating to their financial lives. We try and cover frequently asked questions that we receive from our clients, however, it would be helpful for us to know what your particular areas of interest might be.

If you have any specific question please contact us here – Le Tour de Finance Questions

The 113th Le Tour de Finance event at Domaine Gayda

By Derek Winsland - Topics: BREXIT, Le Tour de Finance, Uncategorised
This article is published on: 25th October 2016

25.10.16

On Friday 7th October, 62 invited guests attended the 113th Le Tour de Finance event, once again staged in the beautiful setting of Domaine Gayda, in Brugairolles in the Aude. This is the seventh time The Spectrum IFA Group has returned to Domaine Gayda, and after the presentations guests were able to sample some of the wines produced there.

On arrival, guests were treated to coffee and pastries before listening to six presentations on a range of financial subjects including Assurance Vie, Pensions, Financial Markets and Currency Exchange and French Tax issues. The presentations were delivered by industry professionals and commenced with a presentation by Michael Lodhi CEO of The Spectrum Group who immediately drew the attention of the attendees by addressing the issue uppermost in the guests’ minds, that of the EU Referendum result and how it would impact the expat community. Michael then went on to highlight the other main theme of the day, that of the state of the UK pensions industry, scheme deficits and the options open to pension members.

Michael then made way for Jeremy Ferguson of SEB Life International who spoke about Assurance Vie, its tax advantages in France both for income and inheritance tax, and demonstrated the product’s flexibility in adapting to changes in the policy-holder’s circumstances. This is always a popular presentation, and didn’t disappoint.

Following Jeremy, we heard a presentation on the current situation in the financial markets delivered by Robert Walker from Rathbones, who shared the ‘house’ view on the impact of Brexit on the investment markets, and on the value of the pound. Of particular interest were his views on where the true value of the pound lies and the timescales before those values are likely to be restored.

Following Robert came a short presentation by George Forsyth of Prudential who presented the Prudential International Assurance Vie and how it differs from the SEB Life International contract. Majoring on the strength of Prudential’s investment funds and how this allows the returns to be smoothed out, rather than suffer the periodical fluctuations of the investment markets, George was able to convey the view that the volatility in global markets can be successfully managed without causing the investor sleepless nights.

There was a noticeable sitting up in seats when the next speaker stood up to speak – Paul Foreman from Momentum Pensions. Speaking about the developments in pensions brought about by last year’s change in legislation, it was clear this was a subject of great importance to the attendees. There is clear concern being expressed currently and this was confirmed to us in feedback received after the event. Paul delivered a highly informative presentation that inevitably raised more questions than answers, but an opportunity to ask those questions came over lunch.

Pippa Maile of Currencies Direct then delivered a typically entertaining presentation on the different transaction opportunities available through the Currencies Direct online portal. Once again this was of particular interest to the room.

Finally, guests were introduced to Rachel Thomas-Bonnet whose company Perfide Albion provides help and support in a whole range of aspects to ex-pats, ranging from help with property purchase, entering the French healthcare system and (noticeably more reluctantly) re-registering your car in France. Rachel also helps with completion of tax returns, and through her work with Notaires coupled with her legal training she has built up a reputation as the go-to person for all aspects legal. It was clear that Rachel was a popular speaker by the comments made by the attendees and the number of people who made a bee-line for Rachel over lunch.

The presentations were then wound up by Michael Lodhi who invited all to stay and enjoy the lunch provided by Domaine Gayda and to sample some of its wines.

To all of us there, it was evident that the guests had found all the presentations highly informative and of value to them. Once again, a very successful Tour de Finance.

Le Tour de Finance – British Embassy Paris 19th October 2016

By Spectrum-IFA - Topics: BREXIT, Events, France, Le Tour de Finance, Spectrum-IFA Group, Uncategorised
This article is published on: 12th October 2016

12.10.16

The Spectrum IFA Group, as one of the participants of Le Tour de Finance, is proud to announce that the event of 19th October will be held at the British Embassy in Paris.

This prestigious event brings together a number of experts from major British financial institutions on subjects such as UK/French Tax Issues, BREXIT and what this could mean for British expats, Pensions/QROPS and Tax Efficient Investing and Estate Planning for expats.

The popular Tour de Finance events are an excellent opportunity for expats living in France to get those all important questions answered by specialists in their respective fields. The events will also give you a chance to meet other like minded expatriates in a relaxed and convivial atmosphere.

The event will commence at 18.00, with a complimentary buffet in the Embassy from 20.00 – 21.00.

If you would like further information or would like to book a place, please contact us

The objective of Le Tour de Finance is to provide expatriates with useful information relating to their financial lives. 
We try and cover frequently asked questions that we receive from our clients, however, it would be helpful for us to know what your particular areas of interest might be.

Send us your questions and the event you will be attending and we will try and cover them on the day:

Please click here Le Tour de Finance Questions