U.S. Markets

Netherlands prepares to be EU financial trading hub after Brexit

FILE PHOTO - British and EU flags are seen prior to the arrival of British Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, ahead of the European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium October 17, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch financial markets authority (AFM) said on Monday it was preparing for a 20-fold increase in financial trading taking place on its infrastructure in the event that Britain leaves the European Union in March with no deal in place.

The AFM said that while banks are shifting operations to Frankfurt and Paris, and asset managers to Luxembourg and Dublin, trading houses are converging on the Netherlands as an alternative to London after Britain leaves the bloc.

“While border and customs negotiations are attracting attention, there is a fairly invisible shift taking place in European capital markets,” it said in a statement.

“The AFM is conducting conversations with more than 150 parties that are interested in a (Dutch trading) license.”

AFM Chairwoman Merel van Vroonhoven said she expected 30-40 percent of European trading in financial instruments will wind up being housed in the Netherlands, making it the center of EU financial trading.

Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Alexander Smith