Boat brokers spared ‘potentially fatal’ FCA ruling

The Association of Brokers and Yacht Agents has hailed a recent decision by the Financial Conduct Authority, which averted a potentially fatal situation for the industry

A recent ruling by the Financial Conduct Authority has seen the UK boat brokers industry heave a huge sigh of relief.

In response to representation by the Association of Brokers and Yacht Agents, the FCA has ruled that boat brokerages do not need to be accredited.

The situation arose last month when the ABYA was approached by a member who had been denied a Client Account by their local branch of HSBC on these grounds.

Accounts such as these protect boat buyers while the conveyancing process is underway.

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Following the abuse of these accounts for money laundering purposes in the US, many banks sought assurances that they would not get caught up in similar dealings, with accreditation seen as a form of added protection.

The prospect of getting every boat and yacht broker in the UK accredited with the FCA was described as by the ABYA “potentially fatal”.

However, it now seems that the scare is over, and just in time for the peak boating season.

Jane Gentry, chief executive officer of the ABYA, said: “These accounts are essential for yacht brokers, and an integral part of the marine industry that is worth around £3 billion to the UK economy each year, according to BMF statistics.”