British expats are being urged to “Brexit proof” their finances in the case of a no deal, with possible disruption to pensions and insurance.
According to warnings from the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisation the estimated 1.8 million British expats living in the EU should consider reviewing their personal financial strategies as ‘no-deal’ Brexit looks increasingly likely.
The warning comes after British Prime Minister Theresa May claimed that a no-deal Brexit “wouldn’t be the end of the world,” as she sought to downplay statements made by Chancellor Philip Hammond.
It also follows the UK government publishing last week its first technical notices advising businesses and consumers on the preparations being done for the prospect of there being no Brexit deal.
James Green, deVere Group’s divisional manager of Western Europe, said: “A no-deal Brexit is now expected by a growing number of experts and the wider population to be the most likely outcome.
“If the UK crashes out of Europe with no deal in place, the estimated 1.8 million expats living in the EU could be financially impacted in two key ways.
“First, the pound would inevitably suffer and it could fall hard. This would deliver another heavy and serious blow for those who receive UK pensions or income in pounds as the cost of living, in effect, would be significantly more expensive.
“Second, unless there is considerable post-Brexit collaboration between the UK and EU there is a risk that existing payments from British companies, including pension and insurance companies, to those living within the European Economic Area (EEA) could be disrupted or even made impossible. Of course, this would be a major inconvenience to many UK expats.”
He continues: “Against this chaotic backdrop it is prudent that British expats in the EU consider reviewing their personal financial strategies sooner rather than later with a cross-border financial expert. This will help best position them not only to mitigate the risks of a no-deal Brexit, but also to enable them to take advantage of potential opportunities that may arise.”
Mr Green concludes: “Unfortunately, a smooth and orderly exit of the EU is looking increasingly unlikely and this can be expected to hit the finances of many expats.
“They should seek to make their financial strategies ‘no deal Brexit’ proof.”