Survey: ‘skills deficit’ for offshore advice

The survey, carried out by financial service research agency So Here’s The Plan on behalf of Technical Connection, discovered that, for most advisers, between 1 and 5 per cent of all investment business was offshore.

It said there was an overwhelming bias to bonds and very little consideration given to qualifying non-UK pension schemes and qualifying recognised overseas pension schemes.

Tony Wickenden, joint managing director of Technical Connection, said: “Advice requires knowledge not only of the financial-planning issues but the tax consequences of the UK and the country of residence, [alongside] visa implications and social security issues.

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“Not advising on something you don’t fully understand is commendable, unless it happens to be the most appropriate solution.”

He added: “Advising on offshore alternatives is seen as an increasingly onerous and risky business. As such, advisers are apprehensive at best.”

Adviser view

Alan Dick of Glasgow-based Forty Two Wealth Management said: “Some offshore solutions are appropriate, especially offshore bonds. These are ‘vanilla’, but they have their place. There is a need though for good understanding, knowledge and learning about other solutions.” He added: “We have had enquiries about qualifying recognised overseas pensions schemes, but see these as too risky, as they have cross-border tax consequences and regulatory issues.”