FCA: Brexit may allow for ‘flexibility’ of EU rules

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Oct 31, 2019

The FCA may actively explore areas of “flexibility” in EU laws following Brexit, according to the regulator’s executive director of international Nausicaa Delfas.

Speaking yesterday at the UK Financial Services Industry Beyond Brexit Summit in London, Delfas stressed that while the FCA was committed to working closely with European regulators, there may be opportunities in certain areas.

Delfas told delegates: “Depending on what type of future arrangements we agree with the EU, we may have some flexibility around EU rules we have onshored, particularly where experience shows them not to be working efficiently or effectively.

“We will exercise our flexibility consistently with our objectives, whilst staying committed to high standards and the outcomes we sought to achieve when shaping legislation as a member of the EU.”

She made the remarks after concluding the FCA was naturally reviewing its stance on UK regulation, given the impetus of Brexit and the fact 10 years have passed since the global financial crisis.

As a result, the FCA is actively looking to deepen relationships with other financial centres and is working with the Treasury to “explore options for enhancing our regulatory cooperation,” she said.

In particular, the regulator will assist the government in its work on establishing new trade agreements.

Delfas added: “Our role will be to provide technical support and advice on free trade agreements covering financial services, as well as other mechanisms for enhancing trade and regulatory cooperation.

“We are hopeful that agreeing these mechanisms with key counterparts globally will help to ensure that cross-border markets can continue to operate, and that enhanced regulatory cooperation can support greater regulatory alignment.”

Elsewhere in her speech, Delfas stressed the UK would remain equivalent with the EU on “day one” of leaving. While she mentioned at length how much work had been carried out, she did also stress there was “no room for error” in the FCA’s work before Brexit’s conclusion.

She said: “The solutions on the European side represent a patchwork. For example, national regimes are partial and differ across member states in terms of scope and duration. In particular, there are a number of issues that in one form or another require further action, either in the UK or the EU – our CEO, Andrew Bailey, set these out in his speech in September…

“…That is where we are right now, in preparing for our exit from the EU. There is no room for complacency and we will continue to be vigilant in the days and weeks ahead.”

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