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05 June 2018

Bloomberg: UK banks face Brexit blow in France’s tilt at MiFID rules

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France is seeking to tighten the equivalence rules of the MiFID II regulations, which would help UK finance firms do business in the European Union after Britain leaves the bloc, according to an internal policy document circulated in Brussels and seen by Bloomberg News.

As they stand, the rules allow companies from non-EU nations access to internal markets so long as their regulatory regime is deemed “equivalent” to the EU’s. France calls this approach “inadequate” and says it “fails to ensure” that firms in countries outside the EU aren’t treated more favorably than those within it, according to the document dated May 14.

A spokeswoman for France’s representation to the EU didn’t immediately respond to a phone call and text message seeking comment.

France’s attempt to toughen equivalence comes as U.K. banks and finance companies brace themselves for life without the passporting rules that allow them to sell services in any EU member state. Europe’s revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, which came into force at the start of this year, could provide a possible workaround for some firms. [...]

In its policy document, France says finance firms should have to set up a branch inside the bloc before they’re allowed to serve clients there. Its proposals will be discussed with other member states, some of which, like Luxembourg, have taken a friendlier stance toward the U.K.

Full article on Bloomberg

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