Edale the UK’s most popular place to start a walk. Start your investment journey at Edale

Britain’s most popular spot to start a walk is Edale in the Peak District, according to the UK’s map producer Ordnance Survey. Data from the mapping organisation’s digital services found the busiest parts of the country for ramblers. When Edale Group started five years ago we took some of the attractions of the Edale valley in naming the group.Continue reading

Taxation of offshore life policies on return to UK

Many British expatriates working abroad in the past decade or so may have taken the decision to buy a regular savings contract putting a monthly amount away for a later life financial goal. Aside from the controversy on the value of these forms of investments, many people contributed to them for the life of the policy or a long period of the term. In that period they may have returned to the UK. What are the options for policies nearing maturity or that have a period to their maturity where a surrender may be considered? There could be value is putting plans in place for a migration to a UK pension pot.

Offshore bonds and protection products are ‘foreign policies of life insurance and foreign capital redemption policies’ for UK tax purposes (Section 476 of the Income Tax (Trading & other Income) Act 2005). From 17 November 1983, a policy issued by a non-UK life office will be ‘non-qualifying’ for tax purposes, meaning all gains are potentially taxable.

Taxation of maturing offshore taxation plans

We understand that most offshore insurance savings plans are classified by HMRC as foreign life insurance policies. On a foreign insurance company a ‘profit’ or ‘gain’ are defined by the HMRC as chargeable event gains. The insurer will be able to confirm something has happened to give rise to a chargeable event gain, including an annual gain under a Personal Portfolio Bond (PPB), they may send a certificate showing you the amount of the gain that you’ve made or the amount of benefits paid. For PPB’s a 5% withdrawal each year is not taxable and accumulates until the 20th year. If you’ve received a certificate from your insurer then, unless more than 1 person made the gain or you’re entitled to a time apportioned reduction, this is the amount you should enter on your tax return.
Chargeable event gains can also arise on life annuities, including purchased life annuities, as well as capital redemption policies. They are taxable as income although tax at basic rate may be treated as paid on the gain in which case further tax will only be due from higher (or additional rate) taxpayers. They are not capital gains, so capital losses and the annual exempt amount cannot be set against them.

Weighing up early surrender cost vs tax efficiency of Life Policies and tax relief in UK pension pots it could be wise to consider setting up a mechanism to pay into to an existing UK pension scheme, reduce taxation and be more efficient when resident back in the UK.

Income taxes in the UK are higher than capital gains taxes so for offshore tax earners the chargeable income gain can be higher than capital allowances.

BandTaxable incomeTax rate
Personal AllowanceUp to £11,8500%
Basic rate£11,851 to £46,35020%
Higher rate£46,351 to £150,00040%
Additional rateover £150,00045%
Tax bracketCGT rate on assetsCGT rate on property
Basic-rate payer10%18%
Higher or additional-rate payer20%28%

Before surrendering or disinvesting from a policy, speak to Edale on options.

UK option that could receive tax credits to mitigate income tax on policy surrender

Every year there are allowances for making contributions into a SIPP and other pensions. Personal pension contributions are topped up with 20-45% tax relief so this can be considered a method to reduce or neutralise chargeable gains from a foreign insurance company policy. Any UK resident can contribute as much to a pension as you earn each year, up to a maximum of £40,000, this is the annual allowance. The main opportunity to minimise the income tax due on policy surrrender or maturity is to use the pension carry forward rules to get tax relief for personal pension contributions. If you paid in less than your annual allowance in any of the past three tax years you can carry forward the unused allowance, as long as you had a SIPP or other pension in place for each of the three years and your total contributions don’t exceed your current earnings.

It can be confusing, so here is an example:

Tax yearAnnual allowanceContributions madeUnused allowanceRemaining allowance in 2017/18 using carry forward:
2018/19 (current)£40,000£40,000£0£60,000

How UK tax credits could be available on a maturing savings plan

Here is a calculation of the tax credits of benefits from investing in a retirement pot. Your pension provider will claim back basic rate tax at 20% from HMRC adding this to your pot. If you pay a contribution of £80, your pension provider claims back a further £20 so a total gross contribution of £100 is paid into your pension pot. If you’re a higher rate taxpayer, you can claim further tax relief (at your higher rate less the basic rate already claimed on your behalf) from HMRC. This is usually claimed through your self-assessment tax return, although HMRC may also adjust your tax code to give you this additional relief. This means that if you pay income tax at 40%, you could claim an additional £20 tax relief, making your net contribution £60 in the above example.

If you’re a UK taxpayer, in the tax year 2018-19 the standard rule is that you’ll get tax relief on pension contributions of up to 100% of your earnings or a £40,000 annual allowance, whichever is lower.

A £20,000 contribution to a pension has the following tax credit and growth at conservative growth estimates. The tax credit, non-taxable growth makes retirement saving very efficient in the UK.

Contribution to pensionBasic rate tax at 20% from HMRCHigher rate tax relief through self assessmentTotal reliefTax relief for Basic Tax Payer plus growth over 20 years on £20,000
20 yrs growth @3%£45,153£54,183 –£9,031 @3% pa for 20 years
20 yrs growth @5%£66,332£79,599 –£13,266 @5% pa for 20 years


Given individual circumstances, ifs often best to get advice. Edale is familiar with these rules and could help you in your personal circumstances.

DIY attestation of UK documents for UAE

We recently had a development in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where we needed to get degree and professional qualification attested for a director to get a working Visa for a project. We did not want to go through an expensive thirdparty and did some of the work in the UK and then used this for steps in Dubai.
Here is our DIY attestation for Uk documents whilst we are here.

Just to recap, attestation is where you get documents from overseas stamped by the UAE Embassy to be recognised in the UAE.
There are three steps to the process in the UK: Solicitor, Foreign & Commonwealth Office and UAE Embassy in London.


  1.  You need to use original copies of documents (UAE may not accept copies so use originals was out advice). For us this was a Degree and A-Level certificates (twenty years old in our case).
  2. We went to a local solicitor and asked them to notarise, also called authenticate or certification, the certificates were originals. The solicitor charged us £10 a document and wrote words to the effect “I certify this is an original certificate of education”  signed and dated on the back of the certificate.  You can find a solicitor through the Solicitor Regulation Authority website.
  3. Then we needed to get the documents “legalised” with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

  1. We completed the online form here. We chose the standard service, £30 a document and 2 business days turnaround.
  2. As you start the application the first step is to authorise the documents.
  3. We selected “degree certificate”, then Select.
  4. Adding the number of documents we were sending (three in our case), the press continue.
  5. We selected originals given the warning we had that certified copies when they are processed by the UAE authorities are sometimes rejected if not originals.
  6. The next page requires that the documents have been certified and we could say ‘Yes” on this page as we had this done first.
  7. We went through the next couple screen confirming our details and return address to the UK.  Plus a return address for the documents if they cannot be legalised.
  8. Then comes the page to confirm the number of documents and amount to be paid.
  9. Next, confirm how the documents will be sent. We were happy with UK post so sent them normal post.
  10. Choose how the documents will be returned to you. If you select them to organise return then it is an extra £5.50 or you can add a self-addressed envelope.  The instructions for self-addressed envelope are in the screen grab below.
  11. Finally, an options page to add a reference number and on the next page is a summary page of all the details. Then it redirects to the payment page.
  12. After that was all done we added the receipt and certificates and posted to the stationary office address they provided.
  13. When these come back you will have an A5 size legalisation on the back of the certificate. We scanned both pages of these documents and

UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  1. Once we had received the documents from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office we went to the website to do the UAE embassy.
  2. Visit https://www.mofa.gov.ae/EN/Pages/Login.aspx and select a new registration.
  3. After completing the new registration we received an email in Arabia but with Google Translate we were able to translate it. The copy of the email we had is below.
  4. When completing the legalisation form we selected the service type of  “Fees for attestation on Regular Certificate” as this was for personal certificates.
  5. The service location we selected was “(London) UAE Embassy”
  6. State the number of documents.
  7. If you have more than three documents then you will need to do batches of three documents by creating a new legalisation form for each batch of documents.
  8. We uploaded  PDF of both sides of the documents as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office legalisation document was pasted to the back of each certificate. We put three certificates into one PDF document. There are online PDF merge tools if required.
  9. Then we proceeded to make the payment via the portal. The charge of AED150 per document can be reduved by using a foreign exchange card, in our case we used a revolut to reduce FX fees. The payment receipt was then the cover page for sending the documents to the embassy.
  10. Complete the form to accompany the originals saved at https://www.mofa.gov.ae/EN/DiplomaticMissions/Embassies/London/Services/Documents/post-courier-form.pdf
  11. We posted the original documents that had the solicitor authorised and Foreign and Commonwealth Office legalisation page, postal form, payment receipt plus a self-addressed envelope to the to the UAE Embassy.
  12. Whilst the process was progressing we received emails from the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs originating with the UAE Embassy to confirm the status of the attestation.
  13. For us, we opened an account, posted the pack first class in the UK and the next business day had the  “completed” email from the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs the next business day. A couple days later the documents came through the front door postbox.

With all of these documents in hand and attested by the Embassy it was then to get them stamped on the Dubai side by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to recognise that the attested documents were valid and then to the Education Department to have them recognised as valid for the UAE, the next step was then to do the necessary in the UAE. See the top tips below if getting education certificates completed.

Tips for getting education attestation in Dubai

  • Despite having a degree there is sometimes a request from the UAE authorities for proof that general education i.e ages 5-16 years has been completed.  The British Council in Dubai can produce a letter on showing them a degree certificate for a small fee. This was a help to prevent any issues with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UAE Ministry of Education.
  • When Degree Certificates are submitted to the Ministry of Education in Dubai they will contact the University via the UK Embassy. Complete this UAE Embassy – release of information consent letter and also if possible include contact details for someone in the university that can be benefitial for confirming the degree certificate is original. This will speed up a process that can take several weeks.

This process is correct as the summer of 2018. It may change if so please contact us and we can update this page.


Traffic jams in largest metropolis in southern hemisphere

Feb 2018 took us to a new continent in the Edale expanding client work. Sao Paulo was enriching in new experiences and firsts. We flew indirectly from London to Sao Paulo via Charles De Gaule in Paris that involved a transfer from terminal 2 to terminal 1 that was more difficult and time-consuming than it should have been with a massive walk, bus wait, and another trip up and down the spider design of CDG. That part of the trip was going to be outdone by the Friday traffic jam in SP. Here’s our traffic adventure in SP.

I now know in a city of 20 million people, traffic jams have become part of the culture. Rich commuters prefer to helicopter to work, where landing pads are at the top of a lot of the buildings in the city centre. No such riches for Edale.

We were fortunate our inbound flight meant we were on the road at 5am and an hour later we were in Brooklin to start a few days of meetings. Friday back to the airport was travel failure and not forward planning. Having had warning of bad traffic at a start to the weekend meant we left at 3PM but still spent 4 hours getting to the airport and experiencing tail to bumper on the fast land of the BR116 with people selling cold drinks! It reminded me of days in 1999 in Johannesburg where traffic was bad and people were window selling at every stop. João Doria was a major who campaigned on the slogan Acelera São Paulo (“speed up São Paulo”) though we were in the rut of the start of the weekend and on the main road out of town. Anyway, a snail pace adventure that matched inefficiency of a terminal transfer at CDG.

Sao Paulo is a colourful city and one we’ll be back as we grow.

Accolade: Finalist in 17th International Fund & Product Awards

Edale has been named as a finalist in a highly regarded international awards program for an award that recognizes service above and beyond that of normal business. The International Fund and Product Awards, now in its seventeenth edition, aims to find excellence in the international wealth and financial advisory market. The Best International Practice award is for firms that have service levels that go above and beyond the norm. The awards are in honour and recognition of groups who distribute financial products and services internationally.

Among Edale in the shortlist are:

  • Old Mutual International, Future Fit – Old Mutual International
  • Intelligent Investments Ltd / PortfolioMetrix – Intelligent Investments Ltd
  • Atlas Wealth Management – Atlas Wealth Management

The winners will be announced on October 12th at the Four Season Hotel, Park Lane, London.

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Edale to join growth accelerator Aug 2016

Edale recently completed competitive interviews and has won a place to join a growth accelerator to help us nurture international growth and sustainable development in our existing markets. We thought it worthwhile to write how we feel we shall benefit from this as a business, improve our client service and grow into new markets.

We have lots of ideas and shall boil these down to a few nuggets in the coming months.

What is a growth accelerator? They help a business get to the heart of the barriers that are holding business back and work alongside executives to identify the critical steps needed to achieve the next phase of growth – rapidly and sustainably. An accelerator provides services to support a business to grow including advice to build a successful growth strategy, discover new routes to funding and investment, unlocking the business leaders capacity for innovation and harnessing the power of employees.

Our vision, which we can enhance and develop with the support of the accelerator, is to grow an international financial services business across 10-15 markets delivering high quality investment products to clients with unmet needs.

We have always been passionate about our clients and products, though advice and mentoring can give a guiding hand and new mindset to do things differently and better.

The business’s focus has been to build quality financial products in unserved markets or improve existing markets that show deficiencies. The steady growth of the business has been achieved by solving clients’ problems in an easily accessible way and a focus on being outwardly facing.
Through the accelerator we shall gain access to financial support, premises with fellow growth businesses, mentoring and access to networks. With the accelerator backed by a big four accounting firm and major high street UK bank we foresee “big business advice” in our day-to-day operation.
This is a great resource we feel will improve our entrepreneurial mindset and business execution for the benefit of clients, stakeholders and shareholders.

The six-month incubation starting in August 2016 and potential for further twelve month nesting are amongst a wide range of services we shall be looking to access and support the business’s growth and deliver our vision. We look forward to an exciting few months ahead and valuable time within the accelerator.