French regulator are speeding up licensing procedures and providing an English-speaking contact for British financial institutions and fintech firms looking to relocate their business in the event of a hard exit from the European Union.
The Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution (ACPR) and the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) are preparing for a mass exodus of UK financial services firm if Britain loses passporting rights during the Brexit negotiations.
The UK's Financial Conduct Authority recently reported that 5500 firms currently benefit from passporting rights that provide freedom to conduct business across all EU member states.
In a statement, the AMF says it is "gearing up to work with traditional and ground-breaking firms based in the UK looking to locate some or all of their business in continental Europe to gain access to the single market and the European passport".
The regulatory bodies say they will accept documents already available in English and lodged with supervisory bodies in the UK and provide an English-speaking contact point to guide applicant firms through the pre-authorisation period.
They are also setting up a one-stop shop for fintech firms under a dedicated welcome programme called Agility. The outreach programme includes the promise of a 2WeekTicket pre-authorisation procedure, access to English-speaking coaches, and a co-ordinated single contact point at the AMF and ACPR.
The move comes as the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, confirms that the capital is working on a plan to introduce special work permits for EU nationals in an attempt to stem the exodus of talent in a post-Brexit Britain.