March 29, 2019 / 12:41 PM / a month ago

Britain gives EU banks more time for no-deal Brexit preparations

FILE PHOTO: European Union flags fly outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, March 6, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s financial regulators have given European Union banks, insurers and asset managers more time to decide whether to continue serving British customers if there is a no-deal Brexit.

Britain introduced a “temporary permissions regime” or TPR for EU financial firms to notify UK regulators if they want to continue serving UK customers after March 29 if the United Kingdom left the bloc with no divorce settlement.

Once notified, the firms would have up to three years to apply for a new UK licence. If they don’t notify regulators, they would have to close their business in Britain.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said on Friday it has extended the deadline for notifications to April 11, the day before Britain has agreed with Brussels to leave the EU if there is no exit deal.

The Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)has introduced a similar extension.

The FCA also published the final version of its no-deal Brexit contingency plans for financial markets, just hours before parliament is due to vote at 1430 GMT on Friday for the third time on whether to accept the divorce settlement Britain negotiated with Brussels.

“The documents published today are the final stages in our preparations in the event that the UK leaves the EU without an implementation period,” said Nausicaa Delfas, head of international at the FCA.

“They ensure that firms have certainty of the financial regime they will be operating within, and so can plan accordingly to meet the needs of their customers.”

The FCA said it would publish information about technical standards under EU legislation on capital requirements, banking resolution and financial conglomerates once the PRA has published similar information.

Reporting by Huw Jones; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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