One-third of UK expats 'shore-up' finances ahead of Brexit

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One-third of UK expats 'shore-up' finances ahead of Brexit

More than a third of British expats have moved to ‘shore-up' their finances ahead of Brexit, according to research from DeVere Group.

Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of deVere Group, which has more than 80,000 mainly expatriate clients around the world, said around 36% of UK clients who live overseas have actively sought to mitigate the financial impact of Brexit, or are currently doing so.

The observation comes days after the British prime minister Boris Johnson told Britons to "get ready for changes" in his latest update to the nation on the Brexit trade negotiations with the EU.

With five-and-a-half months left before the UK is out of the EU, it’s a concern that more UK expats have not yet sought to create, grow and safeguard their financial assets in a post-Brexit world.”

Green said: "Typically, British expats around the world - whether they be in Australasia, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe or the Americas - maintain financial links with the UK.

"Expats can be expected to be disproportionately affected by Brexit as shifts in policies could affect foreign exchange, pensions and retirement planning, investments and tax planning, amongst other issues.

"As such, and quite sensibly, they are looking to shore-up their financial planning strategies before the UK exits the bloc at the end of the year - especially as they can often use their expat status for their financial advantage."

He added: "Expats resident within the EU27 are, perhaps unsurprisingly, the most active in Brexit-proofing their finances.

"If there is a no-deal Brexit, which is looking increasingly likely, their pensions, insurance and healthcare could be adversely affected overnight."

The CEO of deVere, which operates in 100 countries globally, goes on to say that it is worrying that two thirds still have not sought advice with regards to Brexit.

"With five-and-a-half months left before the UK is out of the EU, it's a concern that more UK expats have not yet sought to create, grow and safeguard their financial assets in a post-Brexit world."

Officially, there are approximately 5 million British citizens now living overseas, although the real figure is universally acknowledged to be considerably higher as many expats do not register themselves in their new countries of residence with the relevant authorities.

Green concluded: "If expats fail to plan for all Brexit eventualities by not considering all cross- border financial options now, they could be compromising their longer-term financial security."

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Christopher Copper-Ind

Christopher Copper-Ind is editor-in-chief of International Investment. Before this, he was editorial director of The Business Year, from 2014 to 2017.