How could Brexit affect my account?
FAQs last updated at 3:00pm on 31 October.
We will continue to keep this page updated and will contact customers directly where appropriate.
Will my investment account be affected by Brexit?
If you live in the UK, a British Overseas Territory or outside of the EEA (European Economic Area) we can continue to offer you investments services.
If your address details on record with us, are within the EEA, then after Brexit your account may be affected as we may not be able to provide investments services to you.
Is this applicable to Crown / BFPO employees?
Based on our current understanding, Crown and BFPO employees will not be affected.
Which countries does Brexit affect?
All EEA countries could be affected, including;
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.
I am an EEA national living in the UK, will Brexit affect my relationship with The Share Centre?
No, it’s unlikely to affect customers living in the UK. This is only likely to affect our customers living in EEA countries.
Is it certain products i.e. – ISA, SIPPs, CTF’s JISA’s?
All investment products held by customers living in the EEA are likely to be affected by Brexit.
Why are EEA countries affected?
The Share Centre is only authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to provide investment services in the UK. As a direct result of Brexit, if we wanted to continue to provide those services in EEA countries we would need to seek permission from each country’s financial services regulator and have an office in that country, which is not a practical solution for us unfortunately.
We are continuing to explore whether there are other ways to continue to provide services on a limited basis.
Why is this happening?
As we will no longer be a member of the EU, we will not be able to provide stockbroking services to customers that live in the EEA.
When will Brexit happen?
At present, this could be as soon as 1 February 2020.
If a deal is reached we are likely to have a transitional period of up to 2 years where we will be able to continue to provide our services.
Why can I no longer use The Share Centre’s services if I live in the EEA?
We are currently able to use what are known as “passports” to provide our services in EEA countries under the permissions provided by the UK’s financial services regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). After Brexit those passports will become invalid, as would customers’ access to the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
To provide our investment services in EEA countries we would need to seek approval from each country’s own financial services regulator and have an office in that country. As a predominantly UK based stockbroker this is not a practical option as we only have a very small number of customers currently living within the EEA.
Do I need to do anything now?
You may wish to seek financial advice and / or start to look for a new stockbroker who we will be able to transfer your account to. We ask that you take action as soon as possible so we can avoid reaching a point where we have to force customers to sell their investments held with The Share Centre. This may become necessary if affected customers do not take action in time as we would be in breach of financial services regulation by continuing to provide our services.
Should I review any stop loss limits set on my investments?
During volatile markets, it is crucial for investors to identify and appreciate their tolerance to potential losses.
Stop loss limits are a wonderful tool in normal market conditions but investors should appreciate they also have the potential to be your worst enemy. In times of extreme market volatility they could be triggered at prices way below the level set, due to prices plummeting and subsequently falling through that level.
For those actively seeking to benefit from the volatility, a buy limit order may be worth considering. It may allow investors the potential flexibility to pick up an investment at a significantly reduced price, compared to normal market conditions.
If you're considering adding or removing limits to your investments, you can do this directly on the app or by accessing your account on our website, we aren't able to do this for you.
What happens if I can’t find another provider?
We may be able to re-register some of your investments in certificate form, but we may also be forced to sell investments and return the proceeds to you. It is important you seek financial advice where appropriate as this could lead to unintended tax consequences for you.
What happens if I don’t do anything?
We may be forced to sell investments and return the proceeds to you. It is important you seek financial advice where appropriate as this could lead to unintended tax consequences for you.
What charges/fees will I incur?
As we are giving affected customers an appropriate period of notice, our normal account tariffs will apply.
Will my underlying investments be affected?
We will continue to buy and sell investments traded on London Stock Exchange. If the underlying investment is domiciled in an EEA country, after Brexit it is possible that we may not be able to accept instruction for that investment. We are working closely with all Fund Managers to understand their Brexit plans.
If we’re required to leave the EU, does The Share Centre have a list of alternative stockbrokers we could potentially use?
Unfortunately, we don't have a specific list of alternative stockbrokers available to share with customers. However, our trade association, PIMFA, does provide access to their directory of members, which you can search based on the type of service you are looking for. View the directory here.
I currently have an EEA address attached to my account, can this be replaced with an alternative UK address?
Our understanding of the situation at the moment is that post-Brexit, customer’s should not access our services if they live in an EEA country.
We can amend our records to an alternative UK address if you would prefer, but to make sure our records are accurate, please also confirm if this is a mailing and/or a permanent residential address. When these addresses differ, for instances where we need to complete regulatory reporting or conduct our regular identification checks, we’re required to use your permanent residential address and not an alternative UK mailing address. So, it’s very important that we hold an accurate permanent residential address on record, as well as any alternative mailing address.
Please be aware that post-Brexit, if an EEA country continues to be attached to your account, it’s possible we may not be able to provide investment services to you.
Can I access my account when I’m in an EEA country?
As far as we’re currently aware, post-Brexit, customers of The Share Centre should not access our services when they are in an EEA country, irrespective of the reason or length of time they are in the EEA country.