What does the Brexit deal mean for your finances?

After more than four years since the 2016 referendum, the UK and the European Union have agreed a Brexit trade deal. But while a compromise has been found, the divorce may still have far-reaching consequences for the money in your pocket. So now a deal is in place, it’s a good time to take stock of your finances and ensure they are in a solid position now the UK has left the bloc.

Time to look again at the FTSE 100?

The FTSE 100, the UK’s index of blue-chip companies, has lagged behind large international rivals since the referendum vote, particularly last year. The combination of Brexit uncertainty and coronavirus caused the UK’s leading index to plunge 14.3% in 2020 – its worst year since 2008. By comparison, China’s CSI 300 rocketed 27% last year, while the US’s S&P 500 and Japan’s Nikkei indices ended the year up roughly 16%. But what happens now the UK has a deal in place with the EU? Could we see a FTSE 100 resurgence? As ever, it depends on who you ask.

Some experts believe investor sentiment towards unloved UK firms could improve now a deal is in place, which could lead to higher share prices. However, others believe the FTSE’s lack of fast-growing technology companies will continue to hold it back, while COVID-19 may act as a drag in the short term. A resurgent pound on the back of the Brexit deal could also dent the profits of the many firms listed on the FTSE 100 that earn the bulk of their revenues in dollars or euros. As for smaller companies (i.e.: those listed on the FTSE 250 and AIM indices), a deal provides more certainty, which may help share prices.

Will I get more on my savings?

 Now England is back in a national lockdown, it’s likely the Bank of England will keep rates at 0.1% to support the economy. Unfortunately, if you have a savings account, it means you will probably continue to get a poor rate on your cash for some time yet. That said, most experts recommend keeping between three and six months’ worth of outgoings in an easy-access cash savings account to cover emergencies.

Is my pension still safe?

 There are roughly 1.3 million Brits living on the continent, many of them with private pensions with UK providers, according to the United Nations. While the Brexit trade deal does not cover pension products directly, the UK and EU are about to begin talks about how they will co-operate on financial services products in the future. The Brexit deal on goods gives hope that they will come to an agreement that doesn’t hurt those with financial assets such as pensions or property on either side of the English Channel.

But for now, the best advice is: sit tight and don’t panic. However, if you are after peace of mind, then it’s worth speaking to your financial adviser about any of the themes mentioned and options for your money as we move on from life in the EU.