FCA Ramps up Preparations for Possible Cliff-edge Brexit

European investors were worried about being cut off from UK financial markets as other financial hubs are smaller in size

The UK’s markets regulator will be promoting its Brexit webpages and dedicate the telephone line (0800 048 4255) to help the financial sector accelerate its efforts to comply with rules that would come into force in the event of a no-deal divorce.

The FCA told firms based in the UK that they will have 15 months to get their houses in order before the new rules take effect if the nation was crashed out of the bloc in October without a deal in place.

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“The FCA has undertaken significant work to prepare for the UK’s departure from the EU. We have published extensive information on our Brexit pages and held events, reaching firms and trade organisations around the country,” Nausicaa Delfas, the executive director of international at the FCA, said.

The watchdog’s announcement came after it has extended the deadline for financial services firms and investment funds to register for its Temporary Permissions Regime (TPR) until October 30.

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The move extends a previous deadline that was announced in February, and the extension was in line with the delay of the Brexit deadline from March 29 to October 31.

Temporary permissions regime

EEA firms that currently access the UK market through passporting licenses can do so by notifying the FCA of their wish to enter the temporary regime to continue their regulated activities within the scope of their current permissions. After that, they will need then apply for a full authorization during the TPR period.

The Temporary Permissions Regime (TPR) aims to mitigate potential risks of a ‘no-deal Brexit,’ where the passporting regime falls away abruptly. This scenario means that there will not be a transition period in place when the UK withdraws from the EU, i.e., the UK will become a ‘third-country’ in relation to the bloc.

European investors were worried about being cut off from Britain’s financial markets because all the other financial centers in Europe are smaller in size. In turn, the UK’s financial services sector is struggling to find a way to preserve the existing flow of trading after the nation leaves the EU.

“We expect firms to ensure they are ready if there is a no-deal. If firms haven’t finalised their preparations, there is a risk they could be impacted. Firms should consult the information on our website,” added Delfas.

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