20% of investors seek advice on moving UK financial assets overseas


01 May, 2019

20% of investors seek advice on moving UK financial assets overseas
More than 20 per cent of clients of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations have sought advice on moving UK assets out of Britain since the Brexit vote in 2016.
The alarming statistic from deVere Group, which has more than 80,000 clients across 100 countries worldwide, is revealed as cross-party talks to resolve the Brexit crisis are reaching the end. Prime Minister Theresa May’s government indicated on Tuesday that she wants a conclusion by the middle of next week.
Nigel Green, founder and CEO of deVere Group, comments: “More than a fifth (21 per cent) of our clients – who are typically expatriates and international investors – have sought advice on moving UK financial assets out of Britain since the EU referendum in 2016.
“The pace of this trend picked up over the first quarter of 2019 as the Brexit chaos fell into a national crisis for the UK.”
He continues: “The monumental level of uncertainty caused by Brexit has prompted many clients to seek established, legitimate overseas opportunities in other highly regulated jurisdictions in order to grow, build – and importantly – safeguard their wealth.
“For many, it is the sheer depth of the uncertainty that astonishingly still remains, that is alarming.
“They tell us that despite it seemingly likely that Britain is moving in the direction of a soft Brexit, many uncertainties hang heavy over the spiralling situation.
He continues: “There is uncertainty on all levels. For instance, it is unlikely that the government will agree to Labour’s alternative plan and Labour MPs will not vote for a deal without a public vote, meaning it will not get through the House of Commons.  So what happens then?
“Will there be another extension? Parliament has asserted itself that the UK must not leave with no withdrawal agreement in place, which is something the EU is also keen to avoid.
“Also, it’s unlikely that there will be a general election as Conservatives will not vote for one.
“And, it is still unclear when Prime Minister Theresa May is going to leave office and, crucially, who will succeed her.  Will it be a Brexiter like Boris Johnson who would then shift towards a harder Brexit?
“The influential 1922 committee of Tory Backbenchers are the only figures who could realistically force her to go.  They’ve recently rejected a rule change that would allow her to be challenged for her leadership again.  However, if the Conservatives do badly at the local elections on Thursday, this ruling could also perhaps be revisited.”
The deVere CEO concludes: “UK and international investors in UK assets are responding to the uncertainties posed by Brexit by considering removing their wealth from the UK.
“It could be argued that many UK investors should be doing this anyway. There is a strong ‘home bias’ approach which tends to distort investors’ asset allocation, and that leads to a lack of geographical diversification. The Brexit chaos may be a good excuse to start that much-needed rebalancing in favour of global equities, bonds and perhaps property.”