Quilter Cheviot has closed its Tier 1 Investor Visa service to new clients due to time-consuming due diligence checks.
The move follows a growing trend of wealth managers offering investment services before due diligence checks have been completed.
Currently wealthy foreigners can come to the UK for around three years if they have £2 million or more to invest in UK bonds, shares or loans to active and trading UK registered companies.
But Quilter has decided to close its service to new clients following a review of the business.
In a statement to Wealth Manager, Scott Stevens, head of business development at Quilter Cheviot, said: ‘Following a review of our Tier 1 Investor Visa business, we have decided to close it to new business.
‘We have witnessed a growing trend of having to offer “pre-accounts” as a prerequisite to attracting new business. These have not been something we have felt comfortable with, predominantly due to the implied time constraints to conduct robust due diligence.’
He added that the decision will not impact existing clients.
It is understood that some wealth managers have been offering services to Tier 1 investors while due diligence and other checks have been ongoing, through so-called ‘pre-accounts’.
Most of the invested capital from the investor service tends to go into UK government bonds, and it is understood this is also a reason why Quilter Cheviot closed the service, with the firm having greater expertise in equities.
The service is jointly headed up by Liverpool-based Quilter veterans Jonathan McCall and David Lowe, investment directors who have been at the firm for 20 and 17 years respectively.
Quilter Cheviot launched the service in 2012.