Safeguarding is both a simple and important concept. Every payment and e-money institution that I have ever worked with wants to protect their customers’ funds and make sure that, if the worst came to the worst and they became insolvent, either their customers’ payment instruction would be fulfilled or they would have their funds returned to them.
At the time of writing there are 10 days to go until the date (currently) written in UK and EU law on which the UK is scheduled to leave the European Union on March 29, 2019 – Brexit Day.
In anticipation of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, HM Treasury has enabled the FCA (and PRA) to create a Temporary Permissions Regime (TPR) whereby, at its simplest, EEA firms can effectively ‘grandfather’ their passports for a limited period beyond Brexit Day.
This blog seeks both to remind EEA firms of the TPR, and the need and method to enter it, prior to Brexit Day (assuming that the current timetable remains), but also to highlight a couple of pitfalls for payments and e-money firms should they leave such notification to the very last moment.
Several weeks ago, our Managing Director Jamie Cooke wrote a blog which discussed the position of UK-authorised firms with regard to EEA-resident clients. He pointed out that in the case of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit, a passporting UK firm will no longer be able to actively solicit EEA-based clients and discussed the lack of clarity regarding business initiated exclusively at the discretion of EEA-based clients.
New rules for payment and e-money institutions
Over the past couple of months, the FCA has been consulting on whether to apply the Principles for Businesses, and some other Handbook rules, to payment and e-money institutions and registered account information service providers. This marks another step in the FCA’s journey towards greater supervision of the non-bank payment services sector.
Following my well-received blog about the ACPR’s approach to UK payment/e-money institutions applying for authorisation in France as part of their Brexit strategy, it was almost obvious that I should follow this up with consideration of near-neighbours Belgium.
The implementation of MiFID II in January triggered a significant change in the blanket treatment of FX forwards in the UK and, as a result, non-deliverable forwards (NDFs) became regulated products and overnight were reclassified as contracts for difference (CFDs). Any FX brokers that wished to continue offering NDFs were forced to apply to the FCA to obtain the relevant investment firm regulatory permissions in order to continue providing the same range of FX products they had always offered their clients.