The Government has published a draft Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement between the UK and EU. Chapter 17 of the agreement relates to financial services, which it defines as “any service of a financial nature, including all insurance and insurance-related service, banking and other financial services (excluding insurance), and services incidental or auxiliary to a service of a financial nature. So for instance, as well as the traditional regulated activities, it will include services like consultancy and actuarial services for insurance, it will include marketing of financial services and agreements concerning any financial product or service. The agreement covers national treatment of cross-border financial services suppliers and includes a clause for the UK to propose text on most-favoured-nation treatment; prohibits any restriction on the amount or value of services that may be provided cross-border; caters for firms wishing to provide new financial services into another jurisdiction and requires mutual appropriate access to payment and clearing systems. It then addresses requirements around management and transparency and sets a mechanism for dealing with non-confirming measures. There is also a carve out to allow the adoption of certain prudential measures necessary to protect investors or the integrity or stability of a financial service suppler or the financial system.
The section also addresses the need to allow the provision of back office functions without undue regulatory burden and sets up a Financial Services Committee to consider disputes. Finally, it calls for regulatory co-operation, with autonomy, transparency and information exchange.