Isle of Man-based Utmost Wealth Solutions has set itself up for Brexit ‘buffer’ via its recently-opened Dublin operation.
Speaking to International Investment about the company’s plans for 2018, Utmost chief executive Mike Foy said that while Brexit could bring some unforeseen issues, he was comfortable that the company was set up for any eventuality.
We asked Foy, pictured above, with Brexit talks stalling, for 2018 is there a threat of ‘over regulation’ in the industry generally (i.e. with Priips and MiFID II etc elsewhere)? And how will changes in Europe affect the Isle of Man and Utmost in general?
“With much still to be addressed in the Brexit negotiations, there is still a high level of uncertainty over the outcome. It may be reasonable to consider that the Isle of Man’s relationship with the UK will remain unchanged and with Utmost Wealth Solutions concentrating on the UK market, we may see less of an impact as a result of Brexit than some others.
“Having opened a Dublin operation this year, dual-jurisdiction gives us additional options depending on the outcome of developments in Europe.
Speaking on regulatory issues facing Europe and the international financial services ideas community in general, he said that the pursuit of better customer outcomes is clearly a “positive aim”.
“Our industry could always claim to be over-regulated but we have to remember that we are integral to individuals’ long term savings and tax planning needs. When people’s wealth is at risk, there will always be attention on less scrupulous practices,” Foy said.
“Historically, regulation tends to follow poor customer outcomes and therefore can sometimes feel disproportionate to the practice attempting to be eradicated.”
Foy pointed that product providers have to “take responsibility” and continue to seek better customer outcomes by “influencing regulation” to that end.
“Our role has to be to work with regulators to help create a global financial services industry where products meet customers’ needs and customers are better informed, but are then free to act on the advice they receive,” he added.
“The bigger question is what impact it may have on the global financial advice market and whether it will generate the upheaval that the Retail Distribution Review did in the UK, albeit resulting in generally higher advice standards and professionalism amongst financial advisers.”