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     London (MNI) - The Bank of England sought to get the ball rolling 
on authorisation of overseas banks and insurers post-Brexit, stating 
that they can apply for authorisation from January next year. 
     Firms have repeatedly said time is fast running out before they 
have to trigger contingency plans and the BOE's move is a pitch to try 
and ensure overseas financial service firms will register to carry on 
business here once the UK leaves the EU. 
     With the negotiations with the EU over Brexit ongoing, financial 
sector firms have no legal certainty but the BOE said that they could 
plan on the basis that there will be cooperation between EU and UK 
regulators and regulatory equivalence. 
     There was an agreement this month between the UK and the EU on the 
need to negotiate an implementation period during which firms could 
carry on cross-border activities. 
     BOE Deputy Governor Sam Woods said in letter to financial sector 
firms' CEO's that "We ... expect those negotations to progress early in 
the New Year. In the meantime, firms may submit applications for 
authorisation from January, and we will then review timelines and 
assumptions as the political process moves forward." 
     The clear message is that the BOE and its regulatory arm, the 
Prudential Regulation Authority, want to get the authorisation process 
moving despite the uncertainty over the final shape of any deal between 
the UK and the EU. Around 200 firms could apply for authorisation. 
     The PRA's approach to authorisation is based in part on the 
assumption that there will be regulatory equivalence between the UK and 
the EU. 
     "It is ... premature for the PRA to reach a final view in these 
areas ... However, given progress to date in the Brexit negotiations, 
for the present firms may plan on the assumption that these requirements 
will be met," Woods said. 
e-mail: david.robinson@marketnews.com
[TOPICS:M$$BES]