Brexit has always meant the end of financial service passporting for UK firms, and hundreds have set up or expanded offices in an EU27 country to serve EEA-based customers. Meanwhile, EU banking and securities authorities continue their warnings to those firms and national EU27 regulators that such 'EU hubs' must be genuine, rather than merely facades that continue to rely on UK management and operations. Failing to heed these warnings can result in the EU hub entity losing its authorisation.

In addition, while over 300 UK firms have established such hubs, many are yet to actually transfer their EEA customer contracts/relationships to those hubs. Similarly, firms based in the EU27 may have set up UK hubs that are not yet actually trading (although the UK temporary permissions regime for EEA-based firms operating in the UK is a bit more forgiving). No doubt they are hoping that Brexit is cancelled and the transfers don't need to proceed. But with Brexit Day already extended by 10 months, the risk is that such firms will have failed to use their new authorisations and they may be withdrawn by local regulators.

Of course, some firms have remained hopeful of never having to set up an EU hub. Chances are they will not be able to get authorised in time, if and when Brexit Day arrives, in which case agency might work while they apply.

This also underlines the fact that any form of Brexit means 'No Deal' for services, which are not covered by free trade deals to the extent that EU membership enables the free movement of services.

Financial regulatory authorisations aside, the steps you can take if your services are impacted by Brexit will depend on threats and opportunities identified, and we have previously outlined an approach to 'Brexit-proofing', but examples include:

Time to get craicing! 

Let's know how we can help.