The FCA’s Financial Services Register will be offline for five days from 31 December to 4 January while the regulator makes Brexit-related changes.
The watchdog will be amending a number of elements of the register to reflect any changes in firms’ permissions and other updates which apply following the end of the EU withdrawal transition period on 31 December.
The FCA also recently published its final Brexit instruments and Temporary Transitional Power (TTP) directions covering regulation post 1 January.
To prepare for the end of the transition period, the FCA has made a number of EU exit-related changes to its Handbook and its Binding Technical Standards, some shared with the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Bank of England.
The update follows the publication in September of the FCA’s Quarterly Consultation Paper (CP20/18) containing draft, onshoring-related instruments. The final instruments are largely unchanged from the versions consulted on in CP20/18, the FCA said, and these changes are outlined in Handbook Notice 83.
The UK left the EU on 31 January but negotiations with the EU on a new trading agreement are still under way. A transition period maintaining existing EU regulations is operating until 31 December 2020.
The FCA says firms should make sure they have assessed the impact on them and their customers of Brexit and have plans in place to ensure they are ready.
Firms need to consider the nature of their business, the location of their customers, and any agreements or decisions about the future UK-EU relationship.
Firm must take into account the possibility that the UK and the EU do not conclude a free trade agreement or make any “equivalence determinations” before the end of the transition period.
Passporting, which allowed firms authorised in an EEA state to conduct business within other EEA states, will end on 31 December.
The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 will convert into UK law existing EU legislation. This will “preserve” existing UK laws which implement EU obligations.
The Government’s intention is that the same rules and laws will apply after the end of the transition period as before, as far as possible, but with amendments to reflect the UK’s position outside the EU.
To help firms adapt to their new requirements, the Treasury has given UK financial regulators the power to make “transitional provisions” in relation to financial services legislation for a temporary period. These are known as Temporary Transitional Powers (TTPs). These powers will also enable EEA firms operating in the UK to continue to do so if they wish.
TTPs will be applied from the end of the transition period until 31 March 2022.
• The FCA has a telephone line to provide advice to regulated firms on EU withdrawal on 0800 048 4255.