Expats in spotlight at Personal Finance Society conference

The Personal Finance Society (PFS) has recognised “the increasing mobility of both people and assets” and is inaugurating an “international thread” at its conference this year, the organisation has said in a statement.

Working with international experts Phil Billingham, of Perceptive Planning, pictured left, and Paul Stanfield at FEIFA, the PFS is creating content and interactions that will assist UK advisers to better serve their clients who are expats and/or have cross-border assets, the statement said.

At the same time, international advisers will be able to build relationships with UK professionals to help them advise their expat clients “more effectively and holistically”.

“The UK has one of the most internationally diverse populations in the world. In fact, in 2011, 13 per cent (7.5 million) of the resident population of England and Wales were born outside the UK,” Billingham explained.

“On the other side of the coin, over 5 million UK passport holders are now said to reside abroad.” he added, pointing out that the largest UK expat populations are in Australia, the US, Canada and mainland Europe, but also mentioned South Africa’s large British expat population.

“Taken together, we are not only looking at upwards of 12 million people who have moved to a country other than their birth, but an increasing number of their descendants, family and heirs who are also affected by these changes,” Billingham continued.

“In short, more and more clients – especially the wealthier ones who are more likely to need a financial planner – have assets, income or liabilities in more than one jurisdiction.”

The expat scenario ‘adds complexity’

Stanfield added: “This increasingly common scenario adds complexity and risk to these individuals’ affairs. That may be due to complicated tax rules, varying legislative frameworks or simply the vagaries of currency exchange.

“The fact is that it is very difficult for advisers and other professionals to deal with all of the challenges of this cross-border activity on their own.

“Therefore this PFS event will build on the work that we have been doing at FEIFA for some time now, assisting professionals to work together in order to create the best possible outcomes for clients.”

The PFS ‘Festival of Finance’ is being held on 7 and 8 November at the NEC, Birmingham. For more details, visit www.pfsfestival.org

Eugene Costello
Eugene Costello has been a journalist for some 20 years, and has written for a wide variety of UK and international newspapers and magazines.

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