Monday 16 January 2017

UK banks want time to adjust to Brexit reality

Huw Jones and Andrew MacAskill

Published 08/09/2016 | 02:30

Britain should negotiate transition arrangements with the European Union to avoid "cliff edge" disruption to financial markets, a top British banking official said yesterday.

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Once formal talks to withdraw from the EU begin, the country will have just two years to hammer out a deal - unless every EU member agrees to extend the negotiation period.

Anthony Browne, chief executive of the powerful British Bankers' Association, said UK-based lenders are in a "wait and see mode" but unless a transition framework is put in place banks would soon have to decide whether to move operations to Europe, as such shifts could take years to implement.

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