Standard Life Aberdeen welcomes the agreement reached between the UK and the EU on a Free Trade Agreement which, subject to ratification, will supersede the current transitional arrangements. We believe this agreement to be mutually beneficial and we encourage both sides to continue working towards closer economic co-operation.

As expected, the EU-UK FTA does not cover financial services substantively or provide for a bespoke market access regime for the UK. However, we are encouraged by the Joint Declaration which states that both parties will agree by March 2021 a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishing a framework for structured regulatory cooperation on financial services.

Notwithstanding this Joint Declaration there is already provision in place for asset managers to continue to delegate portfolio management services from the EU to the UK (as confirmed by industry supervisors on 17 July 2020). We have also taken other specific actions to ensure the continuity of our services to our customers, clients, and operations including:

  • Establishing an EU MiFID firm in Dublin, Aberdeen Standard Investments Ireland Limited, to provide portfolio management and distribution services to clients in the EU27. This company is now fully staffed and operational, contracting with a range of EU clients, and we expect the business to expand further over time.
  • Restructuring our EU branch network under the new MiFID firm to provide services and support the distribution of Group products.
  • Expanding the activities of our Luxembourg-based management company to provide services to an increased number of Irish and Luxembourg domiciled funds.

SLA will continue to closely monitor regulatory developments in the EU and UK as the new relationship evolves. As a global investment manager, we have extensive experience in adapting to regulatory change and working across borders.

As at 28 December 2020