Brexit and the Bundestag – another vote to keep an eye on

While the UK focuses on the EU Withdrawal Act, an amendment to the German Banking Act could help underpin financial stability.

With this week’s “meaningful vote” postponed, the clarity we recently described could be one of few areas where there actually is an indication of how to proceed.

In the wider political context, a number of ‘ok so now what’ possibilities remain, including:

In terms of the impact a no-deal Brexit on financial services, the industry-wide consensus is that EU clients will only be able to transact with EU firms. In future, any regulated activity connected to existing transactions would potentially need to be novated to an EU firm.

Meanwhile, over on the continent there is another Parliamentary vote quietly going through the motions – an amendment to the German Banking Act that is being lined up to go through the Bundestag in February.

This amendment would give BaFin discretion to allow UK firms to continue to provide cross-border services until the end of 2020, to avoid any harm to the functionality or stability of financial markets.

The good news is that if this does pass through the Bundestag, it will be separate and distinct from any transitional period or deal the UK agrees with the EU.

The bad new is that February is a bit late for such a confirmation – and there are a lot more EEA jurisdictions to worry about.

Note: This opinion piece was first published by Catalyst prior to the Sionic merger