FCA reassures industry in final hours of EU membership

FCA reassures industry in final hours of EU membership

The Financial Conduct Authority has sought to reassure the industry ahead of the UK's departure from the European Union tomorrow. 

In a statement today (January 30) outgoing chief executive Andrew Bailey said the financial services sector was "one of the best prepared industries for any possible Brexit outcomes".

A 11pm tomorrow night the UK will leave the European Union and enter an implementation period - a transition phase in which EU law will continue to apply and which is expected to last until the final day of 2020. 

Mr Bailey said: "The implementation period gives firms a period of certainty while negotiations are continuing on our future relationship with the EU.

"The FCA intends to use this time to work with government, the Bank of England, firms and other regulators to ensure the financial services industry is ready for the end of 2020."

The regulator urged firms to act in preparation for the end of the transition period in December, in a bid to "minimise risks to customers".  

The FCA has always maintained a non-political stance on Brexit and earlier this month Mr Bailey said the regulator had completed all of its work in preparation for the UK's departure.

The watchdog boss said it had "not been easy" to prepare for Brexit alongside other business priorities, but doing so had been one of the FCA's "biggest achievements" of 2019. 

Speaking on his final appearance on the regulator's podcast last week, Mr Bailey said: "I have a number of hopes and focuses for the FCA [in 2020].

"First of all, we’ve obviously got to go on dealing with what Brexit throws our way and I think the FCA has done a terrific job so far on Brexit.

"Actually I’m really pleased that if you go outside the FCA, that people acknowledge this actually, but we’ve got work to do, clearly got more work to do." 

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