Now that we have officially left the European Union and entered a process of “transition”, a few of our ex-pat clients have been asking me what effect this now has; and how will it impact beyond 31 December 2020.
How will Financial Services and investment opportunities change post 2020?
Dealing with the longer-term question is easy, although it’s also a little unsatisfactory, as the simple answer is that nobody know for sure what the financial and investment landscape will look like post 2020’s trade negotiations with the EU.
Popular opinion is that it would be political suicide to hand control of the jewel in the crown (our financial services industry) over to the EU, or to let the EU impact, change or restrict it in any significant way. That would be bad for the UK, the EU and the world economy in general. The feeling is that we’ll be left with something that looks largely like what exists today.
What is the immediate impact on Bridgewater Financial Services dealing with our EU clients?
Well the simple answer is ‘nothing’. There has, and there will be, no change to our ability to full service and advise our clients throughout the European Union. We are currently pass-ported, via the Financial Services Authority, to help and advise new and existing clients in most EU jurisdictions.
In terms of the UK we are, and will remain, integrated with the European Union with regards to regulation, distribution and classification of all investment funds.
With the Irish UCITS funds remaining fully available in all of their current locations.
As far as Bridgewater Financial Services is concerned, we will continue to go about our usual business and deal with our EU clients up to 31 December 2020 without any change whatsoever. At the start of 2021 we will either carry on dealing direct with our EU clients, or we will do so via an EU company. It all rather depends upon the outcome of the trade negotiations that will take place throughout the year.
Once we have a realistic indication of what the outcome of those negotiations is likely to be, we will advise all of our existing clients on how we will go about providing continuation of service and advice.
Rest assured that we will continue to provide our advice and services in as seamlessly as possibly. Our clients in the European Union are extremely important to us and we understand how important we are to them too. Which is why we will continue to be providing unfettered access to our advice and services well into 2021 and beyond.
Is there anything you should be doing?
Again, the general answer to that question is ‘no’. If there is an individual case that we feel needs examining, we will contact you direct and advice you on the opportunities or concerns we have identified.
If you are still uneasy regarding the future impact of trade negotiations on your investments and portfolios, then please get in touch with us at Bridgwater Financial Services and we will be delighted to help and advise.
But do rest assured that there are no immediate changes coming. We understand that uncertainty, but there really is no need to panic or worry.
We will keep you fully informed of any changes, once they become clear. In the meantime, as we always say, the best form of action in uncertain investment markets is to simply wait and see.