The FCA has launched a survey for relevant firms and fund managers of EEA inbound firms that passport into the UK (the “Survey”). EEA inbound firms are those who have been authorised in an EEA state that are or have been exercising their right to carry on a regulated activity in the UK. An authorised firm can only offer these activities if it has the relevant passport to do so. This Survey responds to the UK Government’s announcement in December 2017 that, if necessary, it will bring forward legislation that will enable EEA firms and funds operating in the UK to obtain a ‘temporary permission’ to continue their activities in the UK for a limited period after the UK withdraws from the EU. To help inform these decisions and to identify firms for which temporary permission may be relevant, the FCA is asking relevant firms and fund managers to complete the Survey online. The PRA has separately set out its own proposals, therefore firms authorised by the PRA should instead contact the PRA to discuss the same points.

The proposed temporary permissions regime will enable EEA firms and funds to be able to enter into new business and fulfil existing contracts with their UK based clients for the interim period between the UK leaving the EU on 29 March 2019 (“Exit Day”) and seeking full authorisation in the UK. This regime will therefore enable relevant firms and funds to undertake new business within the scope of their permission, enable them to continue performing their contractual rights and obligations, manage existing business and mitigate risks associated with a sudden loss of permission.

The FCA expects, subject to the proposed legislation being set up, that firms and funds who would be solo-regulated in the UK, by the FCA, would need to notify them before the UK exits the EU of their interest to benefit from the temporary regime. The notification should be simple and a system to enable firms and funds to do this will be set up in the UK before the Exit Day. Notification will not require the submission of an application for authorisation in the UK prior to Exit Day.

The Survey includes questions covering contact details, the directives under which firms are passporting into the UK, and intentions around accessing the UK market following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The information gathered will also contribute to the overall design of the scheme and enable interested firms to directly communicate with the FCA.

Next steps

To access the Survey, please click here. Please bear in mind that the survey closes on 11 May 2018.

To access the FCA statement on EU withdrawal, please click here.

For more information or advice on EEA firms and funds passporting into the UK, Cleveland & Co External In-House Counsel your, specialist outsourced legal team, are here to help.