It is difficult to say, with any certainty, what impact a Brexit would have on financial advisers and their clients in the short or long term. A vote to leave the EU would put the UK and the EU in uncharted territory and even a quick timetable is likely to be measured in years rather than months. Understandably, clients will want to know how this affects them but without knowing the detailed terms of an exit it is very difficult for an adviser to know with any great certainty, the impact on their client.
Advisers based in the UK may want to continue dealing with the EU, as I would imagine the UK Government would. Therefore the legislation moving into any brave new world is likely to have a great deal of similarity as UK companies would seek to be compliant with EU legislation and vice versa.
A ‘leave’ vote will not change any legislation on the UK statute books. Take the tax legislation in the UK for example - it is very much the UK Government’s decision on how to apply tax and at what rate and this will not change. There are also double tax treaties in place with European nations already - these are unlikely to change as a result of a ‘leave’ vote. And for expats with international bonds from providers in the Isle of Man , Dublin or Luxembourg - the referendum result will not change the treatment of these jurisdictions either. Any changes to existing legislation could take many years if Parliament is involved with a structured withdrawal from the EU.
It is difficult to say with any certainty what effect the EU referendum will have on investment markets - there is no consistency between the ‘exit’ and ‘leave’ campaign so it will very much be a wait and see.