By Sam Kelly of Chorus Financial
I SUSPECT by now many of you have read the headlines with regards a number of UK banks, including Lloyds, Barclays and Coutts, stating that they will no longer be able to provide certain banking services to Brits living in the EU, and indeed beginning the process of closing accounts held by Brits in Spain.
‘Passporting’ which is the method of allowing provision of financial services across the EU, will no longer to apply to the UK at the end of the year, meaning many UK based financial services providers, including banks, investment institutions and financial advisers, will no longer be able to provide service to Brits living in Spain.
We’ve already seen how this affects those with UK financial advisers, and Chorus are regularly receiving referrals from UK based financial advisers looking for a trusted, regulated adviser in Spain to move their clients to. But how could this affect your pensions?
One element we have already seen is UK pension companies refusing to provide full pension freedoms for those living in Spain – so this means Brits would be left with very limited options, like buying an annuity with their pension funds, or simply transferring to another scheme.
The banking risk, however, is proving to be another potential hurdle. Over the last few days Chorus have been in discussion with a number of UK pension providers, and it does appear this could have an effect. The issues again come down to the fact these pension companies use EU payment systems like SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area), and the outlook is very unclear with regards payment systems from the UK into the EU working in future.
One of the UK SIPP (Self Investment Personal Pension) providers Chorus work with, who specialise in providing UK based pensions to Brits overseas, stated to us that they have invested heavily in moving their banking and payments systems to Ireland, despite their pension being UK based and FCA regulated. This will protect those particular clients from this issue, but it is very unlikely that many UK based pensions, both private and occupational, have taken such steps.
Chorus have worked with many clients here in Spain over the last few years to simplify and protect their pension arrangements for a post-Brexit world. You may have a single private or company pension, or potentially a number of smaller pensions you’d like to consolidate. Protecting your pension for the future shouldn’t mean needing to move it overseas or tying yourself in for many years to an overpriced plan.
For simple, transparently priced pension solutions suitable for a post-Brexit world, please contact me direct on firstname.lastname@example.org, call +34 664 398 702 or visit www.chorusfinancial.es for more information.