Over 5000 UK financial services firm rely on passports for business in EU

Source: Treasury Select Committee

The Treasury Select Committee is today publishing correspondence from Andrew Bailey, Chief Executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, regarding the numbers of financial services firms in the UK holding passports to conduct business in other EEA member states and the number of EEA firms holding passports to conduct business in the UK.

5,476 UK-registered firms hold at least one passport to do business in another EU or EEA member state. Firms hold multiple passports for different business activities and different member states, with the total number of passports held by UK firms amounting to 336,421.

8,008 firms registered in other EU or EEA member states hold passports to do business in the UK.

Commenting on the data, Rt Hon. Andrew Tyrie MP, Chairman of the Treasury Committee, said:

“These figures give us an initial idea of the effects of losing full access to the Single Market in financial services.

“The business put at risk could be significant. Almost five and a half thousand UK firms are using passports to do business in Europe, and over eight thousand European firms are using passports to provide services in the UK.

“None of the current off-the-shelf arrangements can preserve existing passporting arrangements, while giving the UK the influence and control it needs over financial services regulation as it develops. Efforts to secure an appropriate arrangement for UK-based firms will be one of the most challenging aspects of the negotiations about the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

“No doubt the hard grind of establishing what best protects UK interests is already underway. This issue needs to be right at the top of the in-trays of the Chancellor, the Governor of the Bank of England, and the UK’s lead negotiators.”

Andrew Tyrie has published a pamphlet for Open Europe, “Giving meaning to Brexit”, which seeks to narrow down the choices, in practice, available to the Government and to provide a reality check.

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