The European Union financial regulatory framework has allowed UK advisory firms to “passport” their services to clients abroad. This has allowed them to offer the same high level of service and regulation you would receive in the UK, whilst living in a EU country. In addition any complaints you may have had based on financial advice received from a UK FCA regulated company, could be refereed back to the UK regulator, even when living abroad.
On the 1st January 2021, it looks set that this “passporting” service will come to an end. UK based financial advisory firms will no longer be able to offer their service abroad, due to regulatory restrictions of not being part of the European Union.
Indeed, it has already be seen that UK banks are beginning to close accounts of clients who now live abroad. The regulators of EU countries have begun to make it clear that they will not accept advisory services from UK firms for residents in their countries, post Brexit.
Given the changes there will be a need for advisory firms to register themselves with regulatory authorities in Europe. One popular regulator for financial services in Europe is CYSEC, the regulator in Cyprus. Many investment firms, and financial brokers, already use Cyprus as their base to provide financial services across Europe.
Whichever regulator your advisory firm works under, it is important they understand the unique needs of expatriates, and still work to the high standards of UK financial regulation.
The UK Money Advice Service has provided some information on how the transition may affect those in the UK and abroad.