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Is the EU shifting the goal posts? European regulator plans review aimed at UK firms using outsourcing structures to respond to Brexit

19 April 2017

By Rachel Kent and Angela Greenough

ESMA's review may affect firms intending to rely on outsourcing or delegation to minimise the business impact of the loss of passporting.

In a speech that was ostensibly on the progress of the Capital Markets Union, Steven Maijoor, the Chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority ("ESMA") announced,  that ESMA is planning possible measures to avoid a regulatory "race to the bottom," in which EU member states relax their oversight of regulatory standards in order to attract relocating UK businesses. This comes as UK-headquartered firms consider their post-Brexit options. It particularly impacts those planning on retaining substantial operations and facilities in the UK by outsourcing or delegating to the UK from a subsidiary authorised within the EU to service EU business. 

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Industries: Financial Institutions, Insurance
Jurisdictions: United Kingdom
Services: Financial Services

Blog

Finger on the polls – May calls for snap General Election

18 April 2017

By Charles Brasted and Andrew Eaton

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has today announced that she intends to trigger a General Election to take place on 8 June 2017.  The announcement came as a surprise, having only been agreed this morning in a meeting of Cabinet and with even Conservative Party backbenchers reportedly not having been informed or consulted beforehand.  Mrs May is taking a calculated risk that a General Election will provide her with an increased mandate for implementing, while also weakening political opposition to, her vision for Brexit.

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Jurisdictions: United Kingdom
Services: Administrative and Public Law, Government Relations and Policy Advocacy

Blog

What does the picture look like for financial services one week after the Article 50 notice?

6 April 2017

By Rachel Kent

The main focus of the commentary so far has been on the references to security (in the Article 50 notice) and the references to Gibraltar (in the EU response).

What though does this mean for the Financial Services Industry in the UK and the EU? Whether by accident or design, within two days of the Article 50 notice we saw the draft guidelines from the EU. Both they, and the Government's response, reflect a major step forward compared to where we feared we would be a few months ago.

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Industries: Financial Institutions
Jurisdictions: United Kingdom

Blog

Does CETA provide a workable model for market access in the financial services industry?

3 April 2017

By Rachel Kent and Dominic Hill

Does CETA provide a workable model for market access in the financial services industry?  At the risk of spoiling the plot: no, not really.  What does the industry mean when it says it wants market access?

The IRSG/CityUK Report on Third Country Regimes and other Alternatives to Passporting noted the UK Government's desire to seek as much mutual access in financial services as possible.  Given that the UK Government has also rejected the option of EEA membership, passporting – at least in its current form – is off the agenda.  The Report concluded that, in this case, a bespoke mutual access deal providing something as close as possible to passporting is the optimal solution. 

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Jurisdictions: United Kingdom

Blog

Article 50 – let the Brexit negotiations begin

29 March 2017

By Charles Brasted

On 29 March 2017, Sir Tim Barrow, the UK’s permanent representative in Brussels, personally handed over a letter, signed by Prime Minister Theresa May, to Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, providing notification of the UK’s intention to leave the EU. This means that the UK Government has officially triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, marking the beginning of the formal negotiations to exit the EU.

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Jurisdictions: United Kingdom