Brexit – Financial Services and the Loss of Passporting Rights

13. 08. 18 David Singh

Brexit Cropped

It is now widely assumed that the UK will lose its passporting rights as a result of Brexit, meaning potentially significant barriers to trade with the EU. The impact this might have on the City, and on the UK economy more broadly, are obviously highly uncertain, the fact is, negotiations with the EU aren’t going well and even at the recent “Chequers Summit” no mention was made of the UK services sector, which includes financial services. There is no doubt that The City will weather the hardest of Brexit’s as there is nowhere else in mainland Europe that has the pool of local talent and complementary infrastructure – particularly legal and technological – that London can offer. Several European cities are hoping to gain from Brexit, most obviously Frankfurt and Paris, but others such Brussels, Amsterdam, Dublin, Luxembourg, Milan and even Warsaw are hoping to lure financial sector jobs from London.

There is likely to be short term pain and some realignment of businesses both foreign (third country) organisations based in London and also domestic businesses, the likely scenarios are;

UK-based third-country banks and financial institutions will shift their European bases to new subsidiaries located somewhere on the mainland; depending on the residual involvement in British markets, they may actually decide to withdraw from London altogether.

Similarly, British banks and financial institutions will face a range of options: they could scale back their European business and concentrate on domestic markets, and those outside the EU, to make up for lost revenue; or they could look to maintain their European business by opening subsidiaries in continental financial centres. Many UK banks and financial institutions are already taking measures and reassuring stakeholders by outlining plans to strengthen their existing subsidiaries in the EU or setting up new subsidiaries and making investment in the necessary infrastructure and talent to ensure they have access to the European market post Brexit.

As a provider of Financial Management Software, with a focus on the Financial Services sector (and being in London) we have been working with a number of customers based in The City who have decided to upscale their existing European subsidiaries or set up a new subsidiary in order to continue to have access to Europe. This means either expanding the footprint of their existing FMS to cover the new operation or in some cases setting up a brand new system using new software.

As we approach 29th March 2019, it is likely that we will see a flurry of such activity, for organisations who have the mega vendor solutions such as SAP and Oracle this is likely to be a massive challenge, try as you might, you cannot do a fast track implementation of such solutions in less than one year, let alone 8 months (as I write). This is where I believe solutions like Infor SunSystems will win through with its flexible deployment options (on premise or Cloud hosted) and the ability to construct a target operating model rapidly, you can have your new European Subsidiary up and running within a matter of weeks, including the ability to send data back to the Corporate SAP or Oracle system for compliance and group reporting.

Infor SunSystems, is a solution that lends itself to the upper mid / lower enterprise level markets, with the most sophisticated currency capabilities to be found in any solution, highly flexible chart of accounts, multi-dimensional analysis, multiple budget ledgers, corporate allocations, integration gateways and powerful reporting options. We complement the software with our skills and experience in the Financial Services sector having worked with it for 30+ years our Consultants and Project Managers are adept at putting systems in quickly and efficiently without compromising on quality.

If you would like to find out how we can help you deploy a new financial management solution using Infor SunSystems rapidly as part of your Brexit contingency strategy, then get in touch with us.

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David Singh

Written by:

David Singh

Touchstone FMS Business Unit Head

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