EU watchdog tells banks to get ready for full Brexit

LONDON (Reuters) – Banks using Britain as a gateway to the European Union must fully execute their plans for serving the bloc’s customers before a Brexit transition period ends in December, the EU’s banking watchdog said on Wednesday.

Britain left the EU in January and financial firms continue to have unfettered access the bloc under transition arrangements that end on December 31.

Many big banks have already opened up hubs in the bloc to continue serving customers there. The European Banking Authority said that these banks must now finalise the “full execution” of their Brexit plans, as agreed in their new licences.

“In particular, financial institutions should ensure that associated management capacity, including appropriate technical risk management capabilities, is effectively placed ahead of time,” EBA said.

This should be “commensurate to the magnitude, scope and complexity of their activities”, it said.

The new EU hubs are expected to increase their footprint in the bloc proportionally to the amount of business carried out there.

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