19 March 2018

Banking association sees Brexit timetable in danger

  • Krautscheid: Brexit clock is ticking for London and Europe
  • Free trade agreement should cover financial services

The Association of German Banks calls for turning up the pressure on the Brexit talks. “Just over twelve months before the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, too many questions are still open,” said Andreas Krautscheid, the association’s chief executive, today in Frankfurt. The European Council meeting at the end of this week ought to be a wake-up call. He urged the UK government to agree to a transition phase, as otherwise a ‘hard’ Brexit scenario was virtually inevitable. “The Brexit clock is ticking relentlessly for London and Europe – and it’s ticking ever louder,” Mr Krautscheid added.

In a transition phase, the UK would be treated as a member of the EU with all the attendant rights and obligations, but without any voting rights. “The European and British economies would benefit from this in that transactions can be settled safely under the existing legal framework.” Furthermore, ‘passporting’, i.e. market access across the EU, would still be possible.

Any free trade agreement with the UK should also cover financial services. Such an arrangement would be in the interests of German banks and Germany’s export-driven economy. “We are seeking to maintain close economic ties with the UK,” Mr Krautscheid stressed. This close cooperation should continue in the area of supervisory law. London would remain a major financial hub even after Brexit, so it was in the interests of all market participants for the EU authorities to cooperate closely with their British colleagues.


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