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If you’ve recently moved to Spain, need to tackle your taxation obligations, or require support with a specific financial decision, the quality of your financial adviser is an important factor.

There are numerous reasons you may decide to contact an adviser as an expat overseas, and multiple areas of your wealth management they can help with:

  • Maximising your pension income
  • Creating a bespoke estate plan
  • Reducing your overall tax exposure
  • Developing a high-performance investment portfolio

Your choice of financial adviser is as influential as the decisions you make, as you will be reliant on your consultant to give you viable, advantageous recommendations.

The Importance of Capable Expat Investment Advice

The first suggestion we’d make is to use an adviser with ample experience supporting expatriate clients. Why? Because a local financial adviser may well be fully versed with domestic tax regulations or declaration rules. Still, they will be unlikely to understand the British system in enough depth to make astute recommendations.

Many expats remain UK domiciles or retain assets in their home country, so need professional support from a qualified adviser with knowledge around cross-border assets, global investments and double tax treaties.

Please download our Complete Residency Guide for Expats in Spain for more information about the complexities of managing your finances in a new home country.

A firm with holistic wealth management services is also preferable to an adviser with a limited skill set. Financial advisers with expertise in tax planning, estate management, investments and pensions will be able to get to know your risk appetite and requirements and provide ongoing support with every aspect of your finances.

Financial Regulation and Professional Qualifications in Spain

Every factor of finance and taxation is technically complex, so your financial adviser should combine experience with superb professional standards and appropriate qualifications.

If you are considering an advisory firm, we’d suggest checking their accreditations and the skills of their advisers to ensure they are up to speed with the continual changes to financial regulations. Regulation is there to protect your interests if anything goes wrong, and unfortunately, there are thousands of insufficiently qualified finance professionals in operation.

The regulatory system in Spain isn’t quite as straightforward as in the UK, where the Financial Conduct Authority oversees all authorised investment and insurance products.

There are three potential authorisations:

  • The Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (or CNMV) is the Spanish regulatory body overseeing securities markets, including investor protection.
  • The second Spanish regulator is the Direccion General de Seguros (DCG) and authorises insurance companies and pension providers.
  • Alternatively, advisers in the EEA can be authorised to provide advisory services in other EU countries under the supervision of a regulator in another EEA country.

Chase Buchanan holds full EU authorisation as a global expat wealth management firm, regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission.

It is important to understand the variances between the CNMV and DCG, as a Spanish financial adviser could be registered with one or the other, or both regulators. Being authorised by one body doesn’t necessarily mean an adviser isn’t regulated, but it may influence the areas in which you seek their advice.

The complications continue because, in Spain, the bonds used for investment purposes are considered insurance products. Even if an adviser is only DGS authorised, they can still provide investment advice.

We would always advise you to look carefully at these accreditations before working with any finance professional – countless unregulated businesses are legitimate but cannot provide advice to the standards you require to make informed decisions about your financial future.

Questions to Ask a Prospective Financial Adviser in Spain

There is a world of difference between an independent, experienced financial adviser and an effective salesperson promoting specific financial products. Once you have verified your adviser’s regulatory position and background, the next steps are to assess whether they are the right fit for you.

Several options include:

  • Conducting due diligence before entering into any agreements – most reputable advisers will be happy to provide references from existing clients.
  • Speaking directly with an adviser, or better, visiting their offices in person. Websites can be misleading and may not reflect the reality of the service on offer.
  • Comparing two or three advisers to see where you feel most supported. Free consultations are an opportunity to ask questions, and it’s rarely wise to go with the first adviser you happen to come across.

Questions can include anything you’d like to know, from the number of years of experience they have, areas of specialism, services offered, availability outside of normal office hours, and knowledge about specific products you would like assistance with.

Pricing is an integral part of your decision, but it’s also important to avoid choosing a financial adviser purely based on who is the most expensive or the cheapest. Low-cost advice may not be reliable, and steep consultation charges do not necessarily equate to a valuable service.

What to Look For in an Experienced Expat Financial Adviser

Whether you’re just starting to create a long-term financial strategy or need assistance with the various tasks associated with relocating your wealth, an excellent financial adviser with experience working with expat clients can make a significant difference. Accomplished advisers will never push you to sign an agreement and will always want to assess your circumstances and get a feel for your requirements before making any proposals.

Managing your finances and negotiating the tax landscape in a different country can be daunting. Still, if you choose an expat adviser with a comprehensive understanding of the regimes both in the UK and Spain, you will be in good hands.

You are invited to download our complimentary Expat Guide to Taxes in Spain to understand the differences between HMRC rules and the various types of tax obligation expats need to consider.

High Calibre Expat Wealth Management Advice in Spain

Chase Buchanan has offices across Europe in key locations to enable us to support a wide range of expats, businesses and families. Our focus is on delivering outstanding support with a skilled team of financial advisers with advanced qualifications, working alongside a specialist Tax Barrister and a panel of Chartered Tax Advisers.

This blend of local, on-the-ground knowledge and exceptional professionalism enables us to offer integrated services to manage wealth and portfolios for clients across the globe. If you are looking for a financial adviser in Spain, are unsure whether the advice you have received is beneficial, or need an independent opinion to protect your interests, please get in touch at your convenience.