UK- BNP Paribas is to launch custody and clearing services in the UK later this year. The bank says preparation is well underway but that it is awaiting the relevant regulatory approval. A preliminary date is late summer, perhaps in August or September.

“We’re becoming a true pan European provider. The UK is the biggest market in Europe so obviously it make sense to provide services there,” says a spokeswoman.

BNP already sells continental clearing and custody services to global custodians in the UK. The pattern is set to be repeated- first the launch of clearing followed by domestic custody. “We’ll really be acting as a sub custodian in the UK,” says the spokeswoman.

BNP’s head of new markets Mark Hillman is leading a team setting up the systems and working on regulatory approval. As yet there is no one appointed to oversee the UK operation once it is established.

Scandinavia remains the only region uncovered in Europe and is likely to be the bank’s next market.