UK financial regulators give 15-month grace period in no-deal Brexit

© Reuters. A river boat cruises down the River Thames as the sun sets behind the Canary Wharf financial district of London

LONDON (Reuters) – Banks, asset managers, insurers and brokers in Britain would have until mid-2020 to fully comply with new rules that replace European Union law under a no-deal Brexit next month, UK regulators said on Thursday.

The Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority published a “near final” version of the UK rulebook that would come into effect if Britain leaves the EU on March 29 without a transition deal.

Britain has already “onshored” or turned EU laws into UK statutes, but this entailed some changes for them to function properly.

Financial firms said they would have limited time to comply with these changes if there is a no-deal Brexit, meaning they would be in breach of regulation and face possible sanction.

“In most cases, we plan to allow firms a period of 15 months to adapt to these changes,” the FCA and BoE said in separate statements.

The final version of the rulebook would be published on 28 March, a day before Brexit, if there is no deal.

If there is a transition deal, financial firms would continue under EU rules until the end of 2020 when the UK wants new, long-term trading terms with the bloc to start.

FCA executive director international, Nausicaa Delfas, said Thursday’s announcement was a significant milestone in the financial sector’s preparations for a no-deal Brexit.

“They ensure that there is a functioning regulatory regime from day one, and that firms are clear as to the requirements they need to meet by end March 2019 and beyond, so they can continue to meet the needs of their customers,” Delfas said.

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