Almost 90 Paris-based firms apply to open in UK

Almost 90 Paris-based financial firms apply to open a UK office post-Brexit

NEWS RELEASE: A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by financial regulatory consultancy Bovill has revealed that almost 200 French firms including almost 90 firms based in Paris have applied to open a new office in the UK after Brexit. This is the second largest group from any European country after Ireland and includes 25 investment banks and investment management firms.

Bovill’s FOI revealed 1,500 EU-based financial services firms have applied to the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Temporary Permissions Regime (TPR) to continue to operate in the UK post-Brexit and around 1,000 will be setting up offices for the first time.

Bovill says the findings demonstrate the importance of an agreement on financial services between the EU and UK that allows both UK and French firms to continue to conduct business on both sides of the channel with as little friction as possible.

Mike Johnson, Managing Consultant at Bovill, comments:

“Given London is one of the key global financial centres, it is natural that EU based firms want to continue to do business in the UK, now that the EU passporting regime has ended. These numbers suggest that many French firms, and especially those based in the financial centre of Paris, foresee the need to maintain access to the UK market. Aside from Ireland, more French companies have applied for the TPR than any other EU country.

“With negotiations ending in an anti-climactic Memorandum of Understanding between the two sides last month, it is clear that there is little prospect in the near future for equivalence or mutual recognition arrangements that would enable EU firms to access the UK market in the same way they were able to before Brexit. For this reason, it makes sense for EU firms to create a base in the UK for continued access to a global financial centre, particularly as the UK Government is already moving to improve the competitiveness of the UK from a tax, legal and regulatory perspective.

“While the FCA can be more efficient than other EU regulators, the licensing process can be complex and time consuming and businesses will need to engage local professional advice. Firms in the TPR or those who still wish to apply for authorisation in the UK for the first time should not delay in beginning this process.”

Bovill’s FOI from last year showed 1,441 firms had applied to the TPR and 83% of these were on a ‘services’ passport, meaning they would need to set up a UK office for the first time. With the Brexit transition period over and the TPR window closed, Bovill repeated its FOI at the end of December.  2020. This found that 1,476 firms have signed up to the regime, including 186 from France and 88 from Paris, which are awaiting FCA authorisation in order to operate in the UK.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Polly Barton – Bovill

+44 (0)20 7620 8440

pbarton@bovill.com

Tabitha Adams – Luther Pendragon

+44 (0)7500 013062

bovill@luther.co.uk

About Bovill

Bovill is a specialist financial services regulatory consultancy, established in 1999 and headquartered in the UK with offices in London, Chicago, Singapore and Hong Kong. Our sole activity is the provision of high-quality, technically-focused advice and consultancy services on all aspects of financial services regulation. We aim to develop effective solutions to the complex problems of our clients, and do not offer commoditised advice or services. Bovill has experts spanning all aspects of financial regulation in the UK, EU, Asia and the Americas.

Notes to Editors

Freedom of Information (FOI) response from the FCA on 29/01/21:

Reference: FOI7904

Thank you for your email of 31 December 2020, about the Temporary Permission Regime (TPR).

We have processed your email as a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). For ease of reference we will respond to each point in turn.

  1. The total number of notifications received from firms to use the temporary permissions regime.

As at 14 January 2021, the total number of firms in TPR was 1,476.

  1. The total number of notifications received from firms to use the temporary permissions regime broken down by the firm’s home state.

The information you have requested is contained in the table below.

Country Number of Firms
AUSTRIA 21
BELGIUM 85
BULGARIA 8
CROATIA 2
CYPRUS 151
CZECH REPUBLIC 18
DENMARK 23
ESTONIA 2
FINLAND 8
FRANCE 186
GERMANY 168
GREECE 15
HUNGARY 3
ICELAND 5
IRELAND 230
ITALY 45
LATVIA 6
LIECHTENSTEIN 26
LITHUANIA 43
LUXEMBOURG 101
MALTA 59
NETHERLANDS 106
NORWAY 32
POLAND 15
PORTUGAL 9
ROMANIA 2
SLOVAKIA 4
SLOVENIA 1
SPAIN 51
SWEDEN 51
Grand Total 1,476

On 11 October 2019 Bovill sent the following Freedom of Information request to the FCA:

Reference: FOI6833

  1. The total number of notifications received from firms to use the temporary permissions regime
  2. The total number of notifications received from firms to use the temporary permissions regime broken down by the firm’s home state
  3. The total number of notifications received from firms to use the temporary permissions regime broken down by firm type (e.g. asset manager, wealth manager, broker, etc.)
  4. The total number of notifications received from firms to use the temporary permissions regime broken down by passport being used (e.g. MiFID services; MiFID branch; AIFMD Marketing; AIFMD management; etc.)

 

The answers were as follows:

  1. 1,441

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