April 5, 2017 / 3:04 PM / 7 months ago

EU's Dombrovskis: must avoid race to bottom to lure UK banks

BERLIN (Reuters) - European Union officials have heard complaints from some members of the bloc about others lowering the requirements for “passporting” rights to sell financial services in the EU single market, the European Commission vice president said.

European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis addresses a news conference on the European Semester Winter Package in Brussels, Belgium February 22, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

As Britain prepares to leave the EU, some British financial firms - and foreign banks using London as a European base - are already working on plans to establish new operations on the continent to keep access to the European market.

Valdis Dombrovskis told Reuters there could be no race to the bottom in setting the requirements to lure such firms.

“Already we have heard certain accusations among countries in this regard,” he told Reuters in a television interview in Berlin on Wednesday. “Clearly we need to ensure a level playing field across the EU.”

Many financial firms in Britain are looking at moving jobs to centers such as Frankfurt, Dublin, Paris and Luxembourg.

But Britain’s financial sector is also drawing up proposals on how it could still serve EU clients after Brexit, even as firms begin establishing new operations on the continent to keep access to the European market.

Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Joseph Nasr

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