Expat International Financial Advice

Published / Last Updated on 29/09/2014

Video explains the do's and dont's for British Expats with financial advice outside the UK and Europe.

"Hello again. Financial Advice for British Expatriates.

So there are really a number of different tiers here for how a British expatriate can access Financial Advice.

First things first, if you are an expat living in Europe then you can still access a UK financial adviser, financial services firm, provided they’ve got a financial services passport and are authorised to give advice throughout Europe.

We have a financial services passport to give advice throughout Europe, also our professional indemnity insurance covers and indeed protects you as our clients; basically we can, we can advise, European nationals anywhere within Europe, but we’re also actually insured to give financial advice anywhere throughout the world. And that's where we have to be careful and where you have to be careful as well. Australia is not part of Europe. The United States, Canada, South America etc they’re not part of the European Union.

So the question is: are we authorised to give advice in the United States of America? The answer is no. Are we authorised in Australia? No.

Will most UK financial services firms be authorised to give advice in those countries? No.

Will a US adviser be authorised to give financial advice in the United Kingdom? Again the same thing, no.

So be very careful, there will be local laws, local state laws, in the US or Canada or Australia or India or Thailand or wherever it might be, where there are certain elements of advice, so for example, you can still approach a British adviser to advise you on existing UK pensions and investments etc. Or it may be that we point you back to a locally regulated adviser to deal with something locally.

What we would always do anyway is, if you are outside the European Union, we would always say to you we’ll do what we were committed to do, whether it's UK regulated investments etc, but if it's something where there is local regulation to prevent us giving advice, then that's where we would refer you locally and either way we would make sure that everything was compliant, you know, legally, for you to protect you, and to protect us as well.

There are certain countries and certain states where there is no regulation, and that will then come down to us as advisers making a decision whether we will advise you or not, or indeed whether our professional indemnity insurers will protectors us.

As I've said earlier, our insurers, provided we are giving advice from Europe, we can give or we are insured to give advice worldwide, and the reason I’ll give, I’ll give you a classic example: I was contacted by a client erm living on an island in the middle of the Atlantic called St. Helena,extremely unusual, it’s like, can I give advice there or not?  And so I actually approached the St Helena financial services commission and their response was because it's a British national living in St. Helena, and because we are a UK authorised financial adviser, then their rules do not restrict us from giving financial advice to that person. However, if it was a financial adviser based on St Helena, they couldn’t necessarily advise that person.

So you just have to be careful, have to be careful with jurisdictions, so within Europe if you're a British expat in Europe no problem, indeed if you're a European national living within Europe then we’re authorised to give you advice. If you are living further afield then what I would suggest is contact us and we will then discuss what your needs and requirements are and it may be some advice we can do for you, some advice would point you back to deal locally with an authorised adviser, and it may be that we work in tandem with your local adviser where the advice that they're giving, we make sure it doesn't conflict with UK laws, and the advice that we are giving we make sure it doesn't contradict local laws there.

So that's a little bit of firm forward thinking for you on expatriate financial advice and what to watch out for. Thanks very much for watching”

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