Now that Brexit is a fact and the UK has entered the transition period, many European asset managers will be considering their next steps to ensure uninterrupted access to the UK market. The UK’s Temporary Permissions Regime (“TPR”), a potential stepping-stone to full FCA authorisation, is an important part of firms’ strategic planning, post-Brexit.
The UK transition period is due to close on 31 December 2020. All applicable EU laws and financial services arrangements, including the passporting regime, remain in force during this period. As things currently stand, these arrangements will cease at the conclusion of the transition period. From 1 January 2021, EEA firms and funds wishing to continue their activities in the UK will need to change their authorisation arrangements.
To mitigate the risk of disruption at the point transitional arrangements cease, the UK has established the TPR for both EEA financial firms and funds. TPR enables EEA firms to continue operating in the UK in line with their current permissions for a limited period while they apply for full UK authorisation. The TPR also allows EEA investment funds currently holding a marketing passport to continue to access UK investors during this phase. The FCA expects the TPR regime to be in place for a maximum of three years – EEA firms and funds requiring authorisation must have received it by the end of this period or face being shut out of the UK market.
Many EEA firms and funds have already submitted their TPR notifications to the FCA and need take no further action at this time. Although the window is currently closed, the FCA has stated that it will reopen the TPR notification window later this year and before the end of the transition period. Firms and funds that still need to apply for the TPR should make arrangements for applications as soon as possible ahead of the reopening of the FCA notification window. We expect a rush of EEA firms and funds seeking to join the TPR at that stage, and early engagement with the process is encouraged to avoid disruption.
However, post-Brexit planning should not stop there: TPR is but a stepping-stone to full FCA authorisation should this be necessary to guarantee full access to the UK market. The exact position will not become fully clear until (or unless) the UK and EU conclude a permanent agreement in relation to financial services.
How ACA can help:
Getting FCA authorisation applications right is a delicate, yet important, task – it will literally make or break the ability of a firm or fund to operate in the UK. The stakes are particularly high for firms that were already operating in the UK through one or more of the EU passporting regimes on offer.
ACA’s FCA authorisations team has several decades of combined experience, managing well over 1,000 FCA authorisation applications. The team has deep understanding of what it takes to ensure a successful application, and will manage that process, including supporting documentation, from start to conclusion. ACA services in this area include:
- TPR notification management – ACA can help EEA firms submit their TPR notification to the UK FCA once the notification window reopens, and support firms in understanding what it means to operate in the UK under the TPR.
- Authorisation project management – The team regularly work with European asset managers to draft the FCA application package, prepare for meetings with the regulator where required, and respond to FCA due diligence requests. Specialist prudential accountants will use the firm’s existing materials to prepare the required financial and regulatory capital projections.
- Global Registration Services – The team can also provide other registration services that are required, including with FINRA, the SEC and the CFTC in the US and the SFC in Hong Kong.
- Ongoing UK support – Once the firm is registered, ACA can further enable its growth and development through a range of professional services and technology solutions. These include compliance consulting, financial and regulatory reporting, tax services, and financial crime consulting. ACA also offers RegTech solutions to support day-to-day compliance activities.
To learn more about how ACA can support your firm’s FCA application, reach out to have a conversation by calling +44 (0)20 7042 0560 or completing this form.
In addition, Mirabella provides a Tied Agent solution for non-European Economic Area (EEA) firms to interact with their EEA clients using MiFID passporting. If you would like to discuss this Mirabella solution, please contact Sarah Donnelly at +44 (0)20 3141 9665