It was the longest – at times, most acrimonious – divorce in history. Five months after the UK left the European Union and assumed ‘third country’ status, what’s next for financial services regulation? A fisticuffs? A free for all? Or a slow, falling in step where it matters?
The early pointers weren’t promising. The UK-EU Free Trade agreement, when it finally arrived in December, made no provision for financial services, despite the lengthy negotiations since 2016. That meant the loss of passporting and with it, UK firms’ ability to serve EU markets from a UK base without dealing with new regulatory requirements.