How Brexit could affect you

(Financial Conduct Authority)
Last updated: 18/02/2020

You may be concerned about how Brexit will affect your financial products and services. Read our information to help with any questions you may have or decisions you may need to take. This information may be of interest to any consumer of financial products and services, but will be particularly relevant for individuals and small businesses. It is based on the position at exit day and we will update it as more information becomes available.

The UK has left the EU. A transition period is now in place, which is intended to operate until 31 December 2020. During the transition period, EU law will continue to apply in the UK. EU-derived protections and rights associated with your financial products and services won’t change during that period as a result of Brexit.

What does the transition period mean for you?

During the transition period, you will not need to do anything unless your provider contacts you directly.

We don’t yet know exactly what arrangements will be in place after the transition period ends or how your financial products may be affected. The UK and the EU have indicated that they intend to reach agreement this year on the future relationship between the UK and the EU. We’re preparing for all possible outcomes to make sure that financial services function effectively. We will update these pages as the position becomes clearer.

If you live in the EEA (including if you are a UK expat)

EEA citizens, and UK citizens living in the EEA, could be affected if they have a UK provider who cannot continue to operate in the EEA after the transition period ends, although many UK providers are planning to continue providing you services. For example, many firms have transferred business to an EEA part of their group of companies, so they can continue to do business with you.

We expect firms to contact you if you are affected or need to make any changes. If you have any concerns about whether you might be affected you may wish to contact your financial product providers.

How Brexit affects your financial protections

During the transition period, access to the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) will remain the same. The Financial Ombudsman Service helps settle disputes between customers and firms. The FSCS is designed to protect customers if a firm becomes insolvent.

The FCA is responsible for FSCS rules relating to protected investment business, insurance distribution, mortgage intermediation and debt management. The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) is responsible for FSCS rules relating to insurance policy and deposit taking activities. The PRA has published information about FSCS deposit and insurance policy protection(link is external).

Staying safe from scams

Fraudsters may use Brexit as an excuse to scam you. Here are some tips to protect yourself from being scammed:

  • beware of all unexpected calls, emails and text messages
  • a genuine bank or organisation will not ask for your PIN, full password or to move money to another account
  • never give out your personal or financial details unless it’s for a service you want to use, and where you trust the provider
  • don’t be pressured into acting quickly – a genuine bank or financial services firm won’t mind giving you time to think
  • always double-check the web link and company contact details in case it’s a ‘clone firm’ pretending to be a real firm
  • if you get an email, expand the pane at the top of the message and see exactly who it has come from – if it’s a scam, the email address of the sender may be filled with random numbers or be misspelled
  • beware that fraudsters can ‘clone’ these email addresses to make their emails seem genuine

If you are contacted and have any doubts at all about what you are being asked to do, check with your provider. Always use contact details you can trust, for example the phone number on your bank statement or policy documentation. You can check if a financial services firm is FCA authorised by checking the Register for all authorised companies. Visit our ScamSmart pages for advice about staying safe when talking about your finances.


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