Brexit should not end UK financial firms’ access to EU, says FCA

Brexit should not end open financial markets in Europe, the head of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has said.

Andrew Bailey said there should be common rules and a mechanism for resolving disputes between UK and EU financial firms following Brexit.

He said UK firms should to be given more information on plans for Brexit before the end of this year.

But he admitted the picture he was painting was “what we should aspire to” rather than a definite prediction.

“My question is… whether restricting trade is an inevitable or a necessary response to Brexit and in the interests of anyone?” he said.

“I hope you will not be surprised to hear that my answer to these is ‘No'”.

He was speaking to an audience of business journalists and representatives of the financial services industry at Thomson Reuters in Canary Wharf and addressing concerns over what will happen to London’s large financial services industry after the UK leaves the European Union.

He suggested the City of London should be given a transitional period during which it could “continue with current arrangements while whatever comes next, is put into effect”.

Banks and other financial institutions are drawing up contingency plans and some have indicated they plan to shift jobs and business to other European locations once the UK leaves the European Union.

Mr Bailey said firms would need more information on the government’s Brexit blueprint by the end of this year if they were to avoid putting those contingency plans into action.

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