A deal giving London, the world’s largest center of international finance, basic access to European Union financial markets after Brexit is nearly done, a British official said.
Such a deal would give the United Kingdom a level of access to the EU similar to that of major U.S. and Japanese firms, while however tying it to many EU finance rules for years to come.
“We are making progress,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters.
But the official said the financial services deal would be based around the EU’s existing “equivalence” system - far short of the deep and preferential post-Brexit market access that many have been hoping for.
Another British official also speaking on condition of anonymity said that, while there was progress, nothing was finalised yet.
The financial services deal was part of the overall Brexit deal that Prime Minister Theresa May hopes to strike by the end of the year at the latest, the second official said.
Britain’s Brexit ministry said progress was being made on reaching a financial services deal, while the European Commission had no immediate comment.
Many top bankers fear that Brexit will slowly undermine London’s pre-eminent position as the world’s biggest international financial center, and a Reuters survey found that, so far, just over 600 are moving away.