Eight UK banks have taken formal steps to seek a new license in the European Union.
Four more UK banks are planning to significantly extend their activities in the euro area because of Brexit.
50 banks have met European supervisors and are in a pre-application phase.
Uncertainty still looms large over whether London-based lenders will retain their privileged access to EU markets after Britain leaves next year.
Sabine Lautenschlaeger, vice chair of the European Central Bank, "Banks must continue to prepare for any outcome, including a hard Brexit if talks between London and Brussels on Britain’s departure from the EU fail to reach an agreement. Time is running out for banks that want to make sure they can continue to operate in the euro area after the U.K.’s exit from the European Union. Lenders should not count on a transition period to delay a decision on relocating their activities as any extension. Any bank that wishes to relocate from the U.K. to the euro area should really have submitted its licence application already. But if it hasn’t, it should do so by the end of June 2018 at the latest. ECB may be open to granting banks extra time to implement their relocation plans as long as lenders present high quality and credible plans. Banks must be real banks if they want to operate in the euro area. We expect incoming banks to be able to produce complete and accurate data on booking models, hedging strategies and intragroup exposures.”
Ian Youngman, author of the BREXIT and Insurance report comments, "The negotiations on financial services between the UK and EU do not separate banking and insurance in any way so what is true for banks is equally true for insurers. The attitude of various EU insurance regulators on not accepting shell or shadow companies is similar to the ECB one on banks."