In response to the publication of the draft withdrawal agreement defining the process by which the UK will leave the EU in March 2019, the Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice Association (PIMFA) welcomes the certainty that these proposals can provide on the transitional arrangements and on allowing for a one-step Brexit, both of which PIMFA has consistently argued for since the referendum.
The enshrining of this period within the withdrawal agreement therefore provides a surety for business amidst a host of unknowns and will allow our member firms to continue to serve their clients as before. Importantly, there is also provision, contained in Article 132, for the extension of the transition period should that become necessary, which provides more comfort for our members and the sector at large.
PIMFA CEO Liz Field said:
“It is very important at all times, but especially in periods of uncertainty and change, that PIMFA member firms receive clear indications of the direction of political and economic travel over a reasonable time period in order to plan their business development strategies and commit resources appropriately to service their clients’ needs. The proposed draft achieves this by ensuring in its transition arrangements a minimum sensible period for our firms to make necessary changes for operating from the UK as a 3rd country, rather than as an EU member state.
“The possibilities for lengthening transition are also welcome in this context, and overall the prospect offered of a sensibly managed withdrawal from the EU with a one-step change for our firms at the end of transition will minimise disruption to business. Given the significance of the UK financial services industry, ensuring stability and maximising the prospects of protecting retail investors are key concerns for the future. Very clearly, further detail is needed to ensure that the UK can continue to operate as one of the leading wealth management and financial advice centres in the world.”