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Bank of England sees Brexit risks to EU bank lending in UK and clearing

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FILE PHOTO - A man speaks on his phone outside the Bank of England in the City of London, Britain, August 23, 2017.

LONDON  - Brexit poses risks to the ability of British companies to borrow from European banks and to some clearing activity which might have to relocate from London once Britain leaves the EU, the Bank of England said on Tuesday.

Banks from the bloc and other associated countries accounted for around 10 percent of lending to British companies, the BoE’s Financial Policy Committee said in a summary of its most recent meeting held on Sept. 20.

Currently, those banks can operate as branches but they might have to upgrade to fully fledge subsidiaries after Brexit, a process that could take many months.

“The risk of disruption to wholesale UK banking services appeared to be slightly higher than previously thought, given that a number of EEA (European Economic Area) firms branching into the UK were not sufficiently focused on addressing this issue,” the FPC said in a statement.


The BoE’s Prudential Regulation Authority was “engaging firms to improve the state of their contingency planning.”

The FPC also said there was a “substantial risk” of disruption to cross-border clearing operations in financial services, such as derivatives used by companies to hedge themselves against potential financial market swings.

The EU has previously said clearing of euro-denominated transactions should in some cases be shifted from London to cities in the bloc after Brexit, a proposal resisted by Britain.

The FPC said clearing houses were examining contingency options “including the potential to relocate some clearing activity from the UK in order to continue to provide services to EU clients.”

But this option was not available in segments of the market “where the complexity and cost of any migration was significant.”

In its minutes published on Tuesday, the FPC said its members had felt in March this year that reliance on the now discredited Libor interest rate benchmark “created a financial stability risk,” although since then regulators have said a replacement for Libor will be in place after 2021.

The FPC had not previously reported the views of its members on the risks implied by reliance on Libor.

Banks have been fined billions of pounds for manipulating the rate which is used to settle contracts around the world.

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Muslim Global: Bank of England sees Brexit risks to EU bank lending in UK and clearing
Bank of England sees Brexit risks to EU bank lending in UK and clearing
Brexit poses risks to the ability of British companies to borrow from European banks and to some clearing activity which might have to relocate from London once Britain leaves the EU, the Bank of England said on Tuesday.
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