July 19, 2018 / 7:57 AM / a month ago

UK watchdog tells banks to prepare for hard Brexit

LONDON, July 19 (Reuters) - Britain’s banks and insurers must plan for a “hard” Brexit in case a transition period is not in place next March, a senior British regulator said on Thursday.

“With eight months until we exit the European Union in March 2019, it is important we all — regulators and industry — continue to plan for a range of scenarios,” said Nausicaa Delfas, head of international strategy at the Financial Conduct Authority.

“Across the FCA, together with colleagues from the Bank of England and the government, we have been working to develop a number of safeguards and contingencies, in the event of a hard Brexit, to ensure that ‘day 1’ works smoothly.”

Britain and the EU have agreed on a transition deal bridging Brexit in March next year and the end of 2020, but it has yet to be ratified, meaning financial firms based in Britain could face an abrupt end to EU market access. (Reporting by Huw Jones Editing by Alison Williams)

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