Following last week’s agreement between the UK and the EU to extend Article 50 until 31 October 2019, the FCA has confirmed that it will also extend the deadline for incoming EEA firms to enter the UK Temporary Permissions Regime (“TPR“) to 30 May 2019. The FCA’s announcement only applies to firms for which the FCA is the “relevant regulator”, which includes insurance intermediaries.
If the Withdrawal Agreement can be ratified by 30 May 2019, the TPR will not come into force. This is because an implementation period would allow incoming EEA firms to continue their activities in (or into) the UK until the end of December 2020.
If no agreement is reached by the UK and the EU before the end of May, it is not clear whether the FCA will extend the window for notification to align with the Article 50 deadline of 31 October 2019. The FCA has stated that it will continue to keep the TPR notification window under review, but it is unlikely that further detail will be provided until there is greater political clarity on if, when and how the UK will leave the EU.
In light of this uncertainty, any incoming EEA intermediaries who intend to rely on the TPR should proceed on the assumption that they will need to submit their notifications by the end of 30 May 2019.
The position for insurers is different. The PRA has confirmed that “[the] deadline for a firm to notify the PRA that it wishes to enter the TPR has passed” and that it “does not intend to further extend the notification period”.
The period for notifications set out in the PRA’s Direction: ‘Temporary permission and variation: notification before exit day’ 7 November 2018 as amended by the PRA Direction – ‘Temporary permission and variation: notification before exit day (amendment) 28 March 2019) ended on 11 April 2019. The validity of notifications made by insurers before the deadline is not affected.