Expats in UK worried about Brexit effect on their finances

Published:  12 Jan at 6 PM
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As speculation on the effects of a hard Brexit racks up, expats living and working in the UK are dissatisfied at best and fearful at worst.

As a result of the ongoing uncertainty, the UK has dropped like a stone in the recent InterNations Expat Insider survey, managing only 54th place out of the 65 countries in the study. Significant falls were seen in all indices, but the results of the personal finance category were the worst. Clearly, rising inflation coupled with the weakening pound sterling is causing panic amongst a majority of expats, with Britain’s ranking in the Personal Finance index down to 59th out of 65.

It’s not just the UK’s everyday cost of living increases that are spooking expats working in the country, it’s also worries about current investments in the UK, whether they’re in property, savings or pensions. The major concern is the volatility of the UK’s financial market, especially as the pound is now at an eight-year low against the euro. Should a hard Brexit be the final result, pundits are convinced a further devaluation is unavoidable, leaving assets far lower in terms of international value.

Some expats are voicing concerns over investing in FTSE 100 index firms, suggesting there may be a rush by such companies to leave the index altogether. At present, just two, the Berkley Group and Dixons, have taken the step, but more may follow rather than attempt to deal with the realities of a hard Brexit. In addition, expats who’ve signed on to a UK company's pension plan are afraid they may not get what was promised due to low bond yields.

It seems many expats are now aware of the present speculation and volatility and are hedging their bets by reducing their risk exposure. A number have already moved to other EU member states in order to protect their finances from the Brexit effect.
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