It is reported that around 1,500 EU-based financial and insurance services firms have applied for authorisation to operate in the UK, with the majority of these firms also looking to have offices here.

Though - given the length of the list - it likely represents a good number of firms already operating in the UK and looking to take advantage of transitional arrangements to continue their business operations here, it is welcome. The UK is still an incredibly attractive market in which to operate for many reasons, including:

  • compelling commercial rationale - consumer and business demand remains high
  • sophisticated and large financial and insurance markets
  • a well developed and stable regulatory regime
  • an abundance of finance, insurance, compliance and technology talent
  • a large pool of experienced professional advisors
  • a well developed trend in innovation in market infrastructure (such as open banking and technology-enabled services) and consumer and business product offerings

We continue to see a good number of new inbound enquiries and new entrants for UK expansion from the EU and further afield (such as Africa, North America and Asia-Pac) for the same reasons.

Whilst each client has a unique proposition and context, when we advise clients looking to expand into the UK there are some consistent themes:

  • managing the regulatory environment, covering market access, managing the route to authorisation and ongoing regulatory and compliance obligations
  • setting up business operations for success, including obtaining bank accounts, procuring office space and addressing people-related topics (visas, recruitment, employment terms and payroll)
  • connecting into the UK ecosystem, including referrals into industry networks and trade associations and locating and contracting with trusted local suppliers

Addressing these items early and thoughtfully, is the basis for success.

It is well known that diversity of thought and experience brings innovation, positive disruption and better outcomes - and so we look forward to supporting more businesses investing in the UK through our Launchpad service.

Brexit: 1,000 EU finance firms 'set to open UK offices'

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56155531