Studies have shown that in excess of one-third of UK financial advisers have clients living abroad. Given the five million or more British expatriates across the globe this is perhaps no surprise. Many of these individuals utilise advisers in the UK before emigrating - most keep these advisers afterwards.
Many UK advisers understandably continue to advise clients that move abroad – whether ahead of that move or afterwards, or both.
They often do this without the requisite knowledge in areas such as the taxation system of the new homeland, and what are (and are not) compliant and appropriate products. These oversights are generally inadvertent, but this will be no protection against a zealous regulator at any stage in the future.
This situation is to some degree understandable and usually occurs despite the very best of intentions on the part of the adviser; generally it happens because the advice is based on UK-style assumptions.
Due to the expanding British expatriate population around the world, this is a growing problem – and one that the UK regulator is well aware of.
With these issues, and in response to an expressed need, FEIFA created a specific membership category for UK advisers, to provide them with a highly cost-effective way to ensure that they protect themselves and their business, and provide the most appropriate advice possible to such clients.
Those who have worked in this industry for any amount of time have experienced many business risks, and continue to do so. Often we are aware of these risks in advance and are able to mitigate or remove their potential impact; sometimes they are not foreseen and the hazards to our businesses appear to come from out of the blue.