Damian Fantato  

Brexit changes herald more of the same for advisers

Damian Fantato

Damian Fantato

With less than a month to go, the details of how Britain will leave the EU are still unclear.

Some things certainly seem clearer than others – for example, it seems overwhelmingly likely that Brexit will indeed happen, though anyone who suggests it is a foregone conclusion has obviously learnt nothing from the past few years.

But if you were able to clamber into a time machine and tell someone in late 2016 that we would still not know how Brexit would be resolved by mid-March – regardless of whether they supported the endeavour or not – they would probably struggle to believe you.

But nonetheless here we are, and the uncertainty means the stock markets may be in for a bumpy ride over the next few weeks.

The question of how investors react to this is perplexing and there have been suggestions advisers may find themselves on the wrong end of complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service if they do not guide their clients through this period with care.

But, as the saying goes, the more things will change, the more they will stay the same.

This means that for advisers, Brexit is unlikely to suddenly herald a brave new world: few regulations, if any, are likely to be culled, the pension freedoms that have driven so many people to seek advice are unlikely to disappear overnight, the advice gap is unlikely to vanish and clients will still need their hands to be held through the ups and downs of the markets.

This probably also means people will be happy to make use of the Fos whether justified of not. 

Whether any of these change in the longer term is anyone’s guess, but you would need a time machine for that.

damian.fantato@ft.com