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Netherlands offers UK providers temporary reprieve from no deal Brexit

UK-based asset managers will get a temporary exemption for providing services in the Netherlands in case UK lawmakers fail to pass its proposed EU withdrawal agreement.

In a letter to parliament, Wopke Hoekstra, the Dutch finance minister, said that if the UK were to leave the EU in a disorderly way, asset managers would be temporarily exempt from “an important part of prudential rules and conditions” set by the Dutch Financial Supervision Act (known as Wft).

With this decision, the Dutch cabinet said it wanted to avoid endangering service provision by UK-based managers to Dutch investors.

It added that the exemption would also enable investors to take adequate measures to prevent or mitigate the negative impact of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

Hoekstra highlighted the temporary nature of the exemption, and said that the expectation was that it would apply until 1 January 2021.

The minister added that the exemption would also apply to clearing services in the Netherlands provided by UK-based clearing houses.

Dutch financial regulator AFM said in October that it had been in “150 substantial discussions” with UK providers seeking to do business in the Netherlands post-Brexit.

The Dutch plan followed an agreement struck between UK and EU regulators in an attempt to mitigate the effect on the financial services industry of the UK exiting the bloc without a deal.

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority signed a “multilateral memorandum of understanding” with regulators in the remaining EU member states and in the wider European Economic Area to facilitate co-operation and information-sharing across areas of financial services, including the asset management industry.

In January, Achmea Investment Management’s treasury and derivatives manager Erik-Jan van Dijk said the short-term nature of currency hedging contracts meant they were likely to be the first to shift from London to other cities within the EU.

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