February 15, 2018 / 8:01 PM / 3 days ago

Germany gives UK banks until June to secure access post-Brexit

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - UK banks wanting to secure a foothold in Germany after Brexit should submit their applications for a banking licence by June, Bundesbank director Andreas Dombret said on Thursday.

With Britain due to leave the EU in March 2019, banks are set to lose their automatic access to the single market unless a transition period is agreed, which is currently uncertain.

Dombret said supervisors cannot guarantee that every application for a new or extended licence will be processed in time if there is a wave of late requests.

“Those who have not completed their planning by June and start implementing it run the risk of being on the losing side next year after Brexit,” he told the Anglo-German club in Hamburg.

The European Central Bank, which is responsible for approving banking licenses along with national supervisors such as the Bundebank, said last week just eight banks have taken formal steps to seek a new licence and four others are planning to significantly extend their activities in the euro area.

Approximately 40 banks conduct EU business out of London.

Dombret, the Bundesbank board member in charge of banking supervision, is due to step down in April.

Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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