Brexit  

How can businesses prepare for Brexit uncertainties?

This article is part of
Guide to regulation

Mr Scott says it is impossible to determine what the future might hold in relation to rule application.

He adds: “Brexit is a political phenomenon, which has regulatory implications. The framework is changing and therefore regulators will need to respond accordingly.

“There is the potential the UK may diverge from current EU regulation, but this will impact the question of equivalence with Mifid and other regulations. This is the balancing act the FCA and policy makers will need to consider, and firms will need to respond in relation to their own customer plans.”

Echoing his thoughts, independent consultant Rory Percival adds: “Clearly there is scope to diverge from the existing EU-based rules.  

“However, I strongly suspect there will be a standard FCA policy-making process to assess when considering new policy – the implications for cross-border trade of any differences with EU regulation, for example, whether there is any scope for firms to benefit unfairly from regulatory arbitrage.  

“Similarly, I think the FCA will keep a close eye on developing EU regulation for the same reason and whether it wants to replicate.”

Advisers will have been busy implementing their contingency plans where relevant.

Scott Gallacher, managing director at Rowley Turton, says: “Our assessment is that Brexit should have little or no direct impact on our business, as we deal with UK resident clients who do not hold passporting rights. That said, there is the concern about the unknown and unexpected impacts.

“Unfortunately there is actually very little practical information out there about the possible impacts, and this probably isn’t helped by the uncertainty around when, or if, Brexit will happen and what form it will take.”

But Mr Gallacher believes the greatest concern to advisers is if the worst economic predictions around Brexit come true, such as a significant hit to the UK’s GDP.

He adds: “If the country is poorer, people will have less money to save or invest, and that may lead to some impact on the advisory market as a whole.”

Dr Matthew Connell, Chartered Insurance Institute director of policy and engagement, says the uncertainty is a reminder of the value of advisers who should already be speaking to clients and managing their levels of expectation.

He adds: “Advisers have had a few dress rehearsals. The outcome of the referendum produced a very strong reaction from the markets over the short term.

“Advisers have already had an opportunity to talk to clients about their portfolio, and certainly in terms of where investments and pensions sit, advisers will always be looking to make sure their clients have access to liquid rainy day funds and income.”