Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Additional QROPS

I have been given early notification that an acceptable scheme will become available very soon

Since the UK budget in March 2012 and the new published list of QROPS on 12 April 2012, the market has narrowed down to

  • Malta

  • New Zealand

100% cash outs are no longer allowed.

More QROPS from additional schemes would be more than welcome

To give an advantage to regular readers of ‘Financial Pages in Spain’, I will compile a list of those who ask for more information. Email me and I shall give you priority in the supply of information about any new scheme.

The promoters of the new schemes know they will be popular, but they don’t want to be inundated with enquiries. Get your name down, if you are genuinely interested and I’ll make sure that you get PRIORITY.

Whilst most of my readers are in Spain, this scheme will be of interest to anyone with a UK Pension Scheme or Plan who has been non-resident in the UK for 5 complete tax years.

David Goodall
Financial Pages in Spain

Monday, 28 May 2012

Unrivalled Foreign Exchange - La Torre Fx

24 hours a day, online service with rates aimed at being better than YOUR bank
  • La Torre Fx is powered by FTT Global and offers ALL major currencies
  • Fixing a future rate is FREE
  • Lowest charges and swift accurate service
La Torre FX - Foreign Exchange is delighted to be able to offer you access to a foreign currency payments facility as part of a new company service.  Check here 

You will be pleased to learn that you will not be charged any commission for purchasing currency through our international currency platform. The only fee that you will ever be charged is if you exchange amounts below £3,000. In this case we will charge you £10 for the telegraphic transfer fee to deliver your purchased funds to your destination account. All purchased currency over £3,000 is free to your nominated bank account anywhere in the world. 

Fixing a rate for the future is free. Placing an order to be executed if the currency exchange rate reaches a particular level is free, even if you cancel the order 5 minutes later. Test it out 
Check here 

The platform is powered by FTT Global and FTT earns revenue by applying a small price difference between the exchange rate at which they buy currencies and the exchange rate at which they sell currencies. FTT Global does not apply any hidden commissions or fees.

If you need to buy or sell currency then click on the link below to open an account and you can carry out your currency exchange in your own time.

Much more detail about La Rorre Fx - Foreign Exchange and FTT Global can be found at
Questions and Answers

David Goodall
Financial Pages in Spain  Feedback always welcome

Friday, 18 May 2012

Moody's Downgrades Spanish Banks

Spanish Banks – 16 are downgraded

The actions of credit ratings agencies, such as Moody’s can be overstated but are always reported. The timing also could not come at a worse time for Spain, it’s banks and the Autonomous Communities of Spain

Moody’s announcement also, in my view, includes one major surprise. Santander UK plc , is the UK subsidiary of the Spanish bank but holds 90% of its assets in the United Kingdom. Unlike many other banks in Europe, Santander (UK) has only 1% exposure to Eurozone Sovereign debt.

Santander (UK) plc is very much, in its operations, a British bank, sterling based, albeit with a Spanish owner.

Moody’s downgrading also affects various of the Autonomous Communities (Regions). These are thought to be unable to meet their deficit reduction targets for 2012.

  • Catalonia
  • Murcia
  • Andalucia
  • Extramadura

On this subject, I would also recommend these posts;

Are UK Banks Safe? (October 2011)

Five Spanish Banks fail EU Stress test (July 2011)

La Torre Fx – Foreign Exchange (Beating the Banks)

There is much more information on many subjects in the BLOG ACHIVE

David Goodall
Financial Pages in Spain

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

April Review 2012 - Financial Pages in Spain

Topical issues

At the end of the calendar month, I like to reflect on the main issues and topics on ‘Financial Pages in Spain’ during April 2012. The issues which were most read during the month covered these subjects

  • New Generation QROPS 2012

  • Professional Advice

  • Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion

These are the issues that contributed the most readership. I’m always pleased to receive emails either to seek further advice or to comment on my articles.

Using the statistics provided by my service contractor, I can also indicate the most popular posts in terms of the number of people who visited the pages. They were, in order;

  1. New Generation QROPS 2012
Major changes have been made by the UK Government to the rules and regulations about Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS). Though only formally announced on 21st March 2012, these changes became effective from the start of the new UK Tax Year on 6th April 2012.

New Generation QROPS shows more detail.

  1. Getting Professional Advice

I have been contacted by three expats in Spain who have been victims of appalling advice, bordering on fraud. Had these cases happened in the UK I would have referred them to either the Financial Services Authority (FSA) or the Financial Services Ombudsman.

But Spain is different and largely unregulated. It is still possible to get properly authorised and qualified advice.
I regularly refer readers of Financial Pages in Spain to authorised advisers that I have checked out.  Please email me for a referral

I deal, not just with financial advisers but also the following professionals;

·                                             Suitably qualified accountants
·                                             Professional lawyers
·                                             Chartered surveyors in Spain
·                                             Property professionals (AIPP)
·                                             Company formation for property ownership specialists

Getting Professional Advice is the detailed post.

  1. Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion

Question : What is the difference between Tax Avoidance and tax Evasion?

Answer : A prison cell

Somewhat dramatic but since tax evasion is illegal and can lead to a prison sentence (in Spain, Ireland or the UK) it is well worth remembering. Tax avoidance, though not illegal does sometimes come into sharp focus, as organisations seek to find loopholes in legislation.

Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion is the detailed post, including definitions

* * * * * * *

Financial Pages in Spain continues to grow, as I can see from the statistics. Whilst Spain and UK dominate the views of both the Website and Blog, there have been readers from many other countries including Germany, France, Malta and Canada.

Any issues which arise can be answered on an individual basis if you email me. I’m happy to receive questions from anywhere but my real expertise relates to the UK and Spain.

I am happy to take suggestions from readers about future articles. Please email me with your own ideas or issues that you think need raising.

REMINDER from Financial Pages in Spain

I’ve owned property in Spain since 2002 and hate to think how much I’ve wasted on exorbitant bank charges on foreign exchange of the years!

So I’ve linked up for a new foreign exchange service. It is available in any major currency around the world but doesn’t offer cash transactions. This is a bank to bank arrangement and is priced to beat the major banks.

But you can test it for yourself! Get a quote from your normal supplier, and then get a quote from La Torre Fx.

Even on a transfer from the UK branch to the Spanish branch of my own bank, I made a big saving using La Torre Fx. It costs nothing to get a quote. But if it’s a better deal for YOU the application process is quite straightforward. Check here

Thank you for previous feedback and requests for referral

David Goodall
Financial Pages in Spain