On 12 March 2019, the Italian Securities Commission (CONSOB) issued a warning notice to UK and Italian banks and investment firms providing investment services and activities in Italy and the UK, respectively, requesting that they inform their clients of Brexit consequences as a matter of urgency, especially in case of a “no deal”. CONSOB stressed that a no deal could lead to the loss of the European passport for the provision of investment services throughout the European Union.
CONSOB called on banks and investment firms to send detailed information to both professional and retail clients about the impact of Brexit, including specifically:
- Brexit’s effect on existing investment services contracts and the relevant relationships, including contract termination and related notice periods
- The specific measures the institution will adopt to manage and/or terminate the relationships with clients and to deal with any client requests and claims in connection with Brexit in an orderly manner (e.g., help desk contact details, publication of FAQs on the website, dedicated task forces, available dispute resolution mechanisms)
The notice further called on banks and investment firms to publish on their websites the same information that they send to customers in both Italian and English. The communications must be written in clear and plain language that is grounded purely in fact. Firms must send the communication to customers using the means that each firm deems most appropriate, provided that they guarantee full evidence of receipt.