February 7, 2018 / 9:12 AM / 15 days ago

British banks should apply for EU licence by end of Q2 - ECB

FRANKFURT, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Any Britain-based bank looking to maintain its access to the euro zone after Brexit should apply for a licence by the end of the second quarter, European Central Bank board member Sabine Lautenschlaeger said on Wednesday.

“We cannot be sure whether the transition period will really happen,” Lautenschlaeger told a news conference.

“Any bank that wishes to relocate from the UK to the euro area should really have submitted its licence application already,” she said. “But if it hasn’t, it should do so by the end of the second quarter of 2018 at the latest.”

Eight banks have already taken formal steps to seek a new licence and four others are planning to significantly extend their activities in the euro area, she added. (Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

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