October 26, 2018 / 3:17 PM / a month ago

ECB's Villeroy tells insurers to trigger hard-Brexit plans

Governor of the Bank of France Francois Villeroy de Galhau arrives at the Petruzzelli Theatre during a G7 for Financial ministers in the southern Italian city of Bari, Italy May 11, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

PARIS (Reuters) - French insurers should trigger Brexit contingency plans now in case British and EU negotiatiors fail to reach agreement on the terms of Britain’s departure from the bloc, the governor of the Bank of France said on Friday.

“In the short term, Brexit is unfortunately the issue that will keep us busiest,” said Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau, who is also a European Central Bank policymaker.

The ACPR French financial regulator is “working actively to ensure a smooth transition,” Villeroy told a conference of French insurers in Paris. “But the time has come for insurers to set their contingency plans in motion.”

“That means getting new authorisations, transferring portfolios, relocating European companies and setting up third-country branches,” he added. “We must be ready for a no-deal scenario, even if we don’t want it.”

Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Laurence Frost

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