Post-Brexit: Access regimes in key EEA member states
Posted on 1 Jul 2021
Article originally published 10/09/2020. Updated to contain new developments on 30/06/2020
Six months ago, the UK Government and the European Commission agreed on a free trade agreement. The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) is typical of free trade agreements and does little to facilitate access to the EU’s single market for UK financial services from 1 January 2021.
After few months of exploring all the possibilities to continue to operate in the EU, it turns out that local law may, in specific circumstances, allow third country financial firm to provide MIFID services to professionals and eligible counterparties.
Below a brief guide to these Brexit-related transitional and other national measures in a number of key EEA member states.
|Country||Name of the mechanism||Mechanism description||New clients?||Mechanism duration||How to apply||Deadline to notify|
|Austria||No mechanism avaiable|
|Belgium||Articles 12 and 14 of the Belgian Law of 25 October 2016.||It is possible to provide MiFID investment services but only to eligible counterparties and per se professional clients. For retail and elective professional client, UK investment firms will have to establish a branch in Belgium subject to FSMA notification, or alternatively to set an investment firm under Belgian law. More information about the regime can be found in the following FSMA communication: Provision or supply of investment services and/or activities in Belgium on a cross-border basis by foreign investment firms (fsma.be)||Yes||Unlimited||The following form, Provision or supply of investment services and/or activities in Belgium on a cross-border basis by foreign investment firms. Articles 12 and 14 of the Belgian Law of 25 October 2016 (fsma.be), is to be filled in by an investment firm that wishes to provide or supply investment services and/or exercise activities within the territory of Belgium under the freedom to provide services (without establishment in Belgium).||N/A|
|Denmark||Section 33 Licence||Passporting arrangement enabling UK firms to provide investment services to new and existing per se professional clients and eligible counterparties and post-Brexit. The licence will enable UK firms to service Danish per se professional clients and eligible counterparties post-Brexit without obtaining a full licence from the Danish regulator.
Entities covered are MiFID services and it applies to ECPs and PSPs.
|Yes||The measure will run indefinitely and until the UK is granted equivalence by the European Commission.||
Before 1 January 2021, the Danish regulator accepted applications from UK firms to rely on the cross-border licence (temporary XB licence).
The application is very straightforward to complete and is available here.
|Finland||No mechanism avaiable|
|France||TPR||France has issued transitional measures concerning private equity funds, share savings plans (PEA) and stock savings plans intended to finance small and medium-sized enterprises and medium-sized enterprises (PEA PME-ETI). The measures permit investments in UK securities for a transitional period running for 9 months (ending on 30 September 2021). For FCPR fund vehicles, the transition period runs for 12 months (ending on 31 December 2021).||No||For PEA: 30 September 2021
For FCPR fund vehicles: on 31 December 2021
|No notification required.||N/A|
|Germany||No mechanism avaiable|
|Greece||No mechanism avaiable|
|Iceland||No mechanism avaiable|
|Ireland||Safe Harbour exemption||Non-Irish firms can provide investment services to new and existing per se professional clients and eligible counterparties post-Brexit without the need to obtain a licence from the CBI. To rely on the exemption, firms need to provide investment services to Irish clients on a cross border basis - not out of a branch in Ireland or having its head office situated in Ireland.||Yes||Unlimited||No notification required.||N/A|
|Italy||No mechanism available|
|Liechtenstein||TPR||TPR applies to all client types, new and existing clients and businesses.||Yes||Until December 31, 2022 or until a corresponding equivalency decision comes into force at EEA level.||
Banks or investment firms must notify the FMA in advance in writing that they commence their activities. They may do not commence their activities until the FMA confirms receipt of a complete notification.
|Luxembourg||MiFIR third country national regime||There is an existing third country investment firm regime which permits firms from certain designated third countries to apply for a license as a third country investment firm to provide services cross-border into Luxembourg to per se professional and eligible counterparty clients. Following Brexit, the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) officially included the UK in the list of jurisdictions which are deemed equivalent for the purpose of the MiFIR third country national regime. This means UK firms can make an application to the CSSF to benefit from the regime.||Yes||Unlimited||In order to benefit from the national third-country regime, a third-country firm must submit a complete application file to the CSSF without any delay. Please refer to Circular CSSF 19/716 for more details.||N/A|
|Netherlands||No mechanism avaiable|
|UK firms that were authorised to perform investment activities or provide investment services with ancillary services in Norway based on home state authorisation and the right to provide services under the EEA Agreement, may after 31 December 2020, without being authorised by Finanstilsynet, continue to perform such investment activities from its home state to professional clients and eligible counterparties in Norway until 1st January 2023.||Yes||1st January 2023||No notification required.||N/A|
No mechanism available
|Portugal||TPR||The Portuguese TPR provides that UK investment firms are authorised to provide investment services and ancillary services under an EU passport into Portugal, may continue to provide such services after the Brexit Effective Date.||Yes, if the UK firm intends to request an autorisation from the CMVM||1st January 2022||Investment services and Collective investment undertakings: UCITS and AIF
Up to 3 months after the Brexit Effective Date, a notification pursuant to Annex I of the TPR Law must be submitted to the Portuguese Securities Market Commission (the “CMVM”), stating, inter alia, whether such entities intend to: (i) terminate ongoing agreements; or (ii) request authorisation to continue to operate in Portugal.
UK entities that did not submit a notification or an authorisation request as set out above may only continue to perform and comply with transactions which are necessary to terminate ongoing agreements and must end their operations in Portugal by 31 December 2021.
If collective investment undertakings based in the UK are being marketed in Portugal on the Brexit Effective Date, it will be possible to continue to market them in Portugal after that date, provided the managing entity files a notification with the CMVM in accordance with Annex III of the TPR Law.
|Notification period has lapsed and firms must end their operations by 31st December 2021 (except for collective investment undertakings)|
|Spain||TPR||Existing contracts will remain valid and enforceable, but cannot be amended or renewed, unless the firm applies for a new authorisation.
Spanish branches of UK firms - need to apply for a new authorisation in Spain to continue servicing clients in Spain and to benefit from the transitional period (until the new authorisation is granted).
Cross-border services (i.e. no permanent establishment) - need to apply for a new branch or subsidiary authorisation to continue servicing clients in Spain and to benefit from the transitional period (until the new authorisation is granted).
|No||30th September 2021||No notification required.||N/A|
|Sweden||TPR||UK MiFID II investment firms that wishes to rely on the Swedish temporary regime, i.e. to continue to provide investment services or activities in Sweden are not obliged to actively take any steps to rely on such exemption, i.e., no application/registration will be needed.||Existing client only with contractual relationship on the 29 of March 2019||31st December 2021||No notification required.||N/A|
|UK and EEA AIFMs who do not avail of the TPR will need to complete a notification under the National Private Placement Regime (NPPR) if seeking permission to market AIFs to professional investors in the UK. This applies both to marketing of EEA AIFs and non-EEA AIFs.||UK AIFs or third country AIFs (this now includes third countries UCITS too)||Unlimited||
Please see the FCA guidance for more information.
It is worth noting that following exit day, EEA UCITS will fall within the definition of "AIF" under UK law, and will be treated as such in terms of the requirements that must be fulfilled in order for EEA UCITS to be marketed to professional investors in the UK. An EEA UCITS which does not avail of the TPR will need to be notified to the FCA under the UK's NPPR regime in order for marketing to be permitted to professional investors.
TPR and Laven
If this is of interest or if you have any concern about continuing your activities in EU countries, please feel free to reach out to us and we will be glad to revert to you with our best solution.