LONDON Financial firms in Britain must submit applications by July 3 for licences for sweeping new European Union securities rules that will come into effect from 2018, the Financial Conduct Authority said on Monday.
Although Britain is due to leave the EU in 2019, British regulators have said that firms must still implement the new rules, known as MiFID II, on time.
Without full compliance, it would be much harder for Britain to obtain a trading deal with Brussels on continued access to EU financial markets after Brexit.
The new rules aim to increase transparency requirements in stock, bond and commodities markets, applying lessons from the 2008 financial crisis
"Firms who need to change their regulatory permissions as a result of MiFID II should submit a complete application for authorisation or a variation of permission now, to ensure that we can we determine it before MiFID II takes effect," the FCA said in a statement.
"To be sure that we can determine an application in time for 3 January 2018, it needs to be complete by 3 July 2017."
There is no guarantee that late applications will be processed in time, the FCA said.
The MiFID rule allow financial firms such as banks and trading companies to serve customers across the EU from a base in Britain.
The FCA said that firms operating without MiFID II licences by January next year would face sanctions.
(Reporting by Huw Jones. Editing by Jane Merriman)