The Financial Conduct Authority will advise HM Treasury on post-Brexit trade deals with countries outside of the European Union, according to its executive director of international.
Speaking at a City & Financial summit on Brexit earlier today (March 21) Nausicaa Delfas said providing technical expertise on trade policy to the government was a "relatively new" area of focus for the regulator and negotiations with "priority" non-EU countries were expected to begin shortly after the UK has left the European Union.
She said: "Post-EU, the UK will have the ability to develop its own independent trade policy which will require us to contribute technical support and advice on free trade agreements covering financial services, as well as other mechanisms for enhancing trade and regulatory cooperation.
"It is expected the negotiations with priority non-EU countries would begin shortly after the UK has left the EU."
Ms Delfas said even though parliament voted against a no-deal scenario, she believed the possibility of a "hard exit" remained and the FCA therefore retained its preparedness for all scenarios.
The regulator has established a temporary permissions regime to allow EU firms and funds which currently passport into the UK to continue operating in the UK if the country leaves the EU with no deal, and current passporting rights stop.
Ms Delfas confirmed more than 1,000 EU firms and fund managers have already entered the temporary permissions regime.
Currently there is no similar system for UK firms who passport into the EU, but Ms Delfas said a "number" of member states had put arrangements in place which were "similar but not identical" to the arrangements under the temporary permissions regime.
These include Germany, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.