Dealing with EEA firms and funds

Check if you’re protected and how to complain if you’re dealing with an EEA firm in the temporary permissions regime (TPR) or financial services contracts regime (FSCR).

Now that the transition period has ended, some European Economic Area (EEA) firms entered the TPR to continue providing services in the UK for a limited period.

Other EEA firms entered the FSCR if they decided to wind down their UK business.

Managers of EEA-based investment funds can also use the temporary marketing permission regime (TMPR) to continue to temporarily market investment funds in the UK.

What this means for you

These temporary regimes mean that providers of financial services from the EEA can continue to provide services to you now that the transition period has ended.

The UK's Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is designed to protect you if a firm fails or stops trading. If you were covered by the FSCS before the end of the transition period, you will still be covered when dealing with firms in the TPR now. We have also extended the cover in some cases (specifically to EEA firms with a UK branch).

However, as was the position before the transition period ended, FSCS cover doesn't apply in all cases (many firms with no UK branch won't be covered by the FSCS), and you may not be covered by an EEA compensation scheme.

Firms in the TPR or FSCR also won’t yet have been authorised or otherwise assessed by us or the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). The same is true for funds in the TMPR.

If you're dealing with an EEA firm, find out more about these temporary regimes and how they affect you.

On this page:

About the TPR and FSCR

Until 31 December 2020, financial services firms authorised in the EEA could use the 'passporting regime' to provide services in the UK. This meant they didn’t need to be authorised in the UK by us or the PRA.

However, now that the transition period has ended, and the UK has left the EU, EEA firms can’t 'passport' into the UK. Instead, they need to be authorised and regulated by us and/or the PRA.

To avoid any disruption to you, the Government established the:

Temporary permissions regime (TPR): The TPR allows EEA-based firms to continue operating in the UK for a limited period of time after the end of the transition period. During this time, firms will look to get full authorisation in the UK, which could take up to 3 years.

Financial services contracts regime (FSCR): The FSCR automatically applies to EEA-based firms where they continue to need UK authorisation but are not in the TPR. It allows firms to wind down their UK business in an orderly fashion and exit the UK market. These firms will not be authorised or assessed by us.

How will I know if a firm is in the TPR?

If a firm is in the TPR, it means that it:

  • has been authorised in an EEA member state
  • had a passport into the UK in place on 31 December 2020 
  • has not been authorised or otherwise assessed by us or the PRA yet (and for bank and insurers any individuals shown as ‘approved’ on the Financial Services Register may only be deemed to be approved for regulatory purposes and may not have actually been assessed by us or the PRA yet)

While in the TPR, the firm is allowed to undertake new business with new customers and service existing customers in the UK.

You can find out if a firm you’re dealing with is in the TPR by checking the FS Register. It will clearly state this at the top of a firm’s page.

Firms in the TPR should also include specific wording in their letters or emails to you, making it clear that they are in the regime. Make sure you look at the bottom of any letters or emails you have received from the firm.

What should I check if I’m dealing with a firm in the TPR?

You may want to:

Check if you’re protected if the firm fails: The FSCS is designed to protect you if a firm fails or stops trading, and is unable (or likely to be unable) to pay claims made against it. However, a firm in the TPR may not be covered by the FSCS or an EEA compensation scheme. 

If you’re dealing with a firm in the TPR, the firm should tell you about its compensation arrangements. If you do not hear from them, you may want to contact them for more information.

The FSCS has also published information about the different scenarios in which UK FSCS cover will and won’t apply.

Find out more

Check how to complain: The UK’s Financial Ombudsman Service helps settle disputes between customers and firms. If you’re dealing with a firm in the TPR, you will still be able to complain to the ombudsman service, if your complaint isn’t dealt with by the firm.

However, the right to refer a complaint to a dispute resolution scheme in the firm’s home country may not exist, or it may be more difficult for a UK customer to use. So, you may want to ask the firm for more information about how to make a complaint. 

If you have any concerns about a firm in the TPR, you should contact us.

How will I know if a firm is in the FSCR?

There are 2 parts to the FSCR. EEA firms will either be in:

  • the supervised run-off regime (SRO), or
  • the contractual run-off regime (CRO)

This will depend on whether they had a physical presence in the UK or a UK top-up permission (which is a UK permission covering a matter not eligible for passporting, such as debt counselling or debt adjusting).

You can find out which regime the firm is in on the FS Register. It will be clearly stated at the top of the firm’s page.

Supervised run-off regime (SRO)

If a firm is in the SRO, it means that it: 

  • has been authorised in an EEA member state 
  • had a passport into the UK in place on 31 December 2020
  • has a branch in the UK or has a UK top-up permission 
  • has not been authorised or otherwise assessed by us or the PRA (and for bank and insurers any individuals shown as ‘approved’ on the FS Register may only be deemed to be approved for regulatory purposes and may not have actually been assessed by us or the PRA yet) 

Firms could also end up in the SRO if they entered the TPR but then do not get UK authorisation.

Firms in the SRO should only be dealing with existing customers and business. They should not be dealing with new customers or selling you any new products (unless an existing contract says that they must do so).

As with firms in the TPR, firms in the SRO should include specific wording in their letters or emails to you, making it clear that they are in the FSCR. Check the bottom of any letters or emails you have received from the firm.

Contractual run-off regime (CRO)

If firm is in the CRO, it means that it: 

  • has been authorised in an EEA member state 
  • had a passport into the UK in place on 31 December 2020
  • did not have a physical presence in the UK
  • has not been authorised or otherwise assessed by us or the PRA
  • is not regulated by us or the PRA

Firms in the CRO should only be dealing with existing customers and business. They should not be dealing with new customers or selling you any new products (unless an existing contract says that they must do so).

Firms in the CRO must tell us if they have UK business to wind down. If they do, their CRO status will be clearly stated at the top of the firm’s page on the FS Register. Firms that have failed to tell us may be described on the FS Register as former passporting firms. This means that the firm has not told either us or the PRA that it has existing UK customers and business to wind-down.

What should I check if I’m dealing with a firm in the SRO?

You may want to:

Check if you’re protected if the firm fails: A firm in SRO may not be covered by the FSCS or any EEA compensation scheme. 

If you’re dealing with a firm in the SRO, it should tell you about its compensation arrangements. If you do not hear from the firm, you may want to ask the firm for more information.

The FSCS has also published information about the different scenarios in which UK FSCS cover will and won’t apply.

Find out more

Check how to complain: If you’re dealing with a firm in the SRO, you will still be able to complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service, if your complaint isn’t dealt with by the firm.

However, the right to refer a complaint to a dispute resolution scheme in the firm’s home state may not exist, or it may be more difficult for a UK customer to use. So, you may want to ask the firm for more information about how to make a complaint. 

If you have any concerns about a firm in the SRO, you should contact us.

What should I check if I am dealing with a firm in the CRO?

You may want to:

Check if you’re protected if the firm fails: If the firm is in the CRO it will not be covered by the FSCS under our rules, but may be covered by an EEA compensation arrangement (if one exists and is applicable).

The firm should write to you to explain this. If you do not hear from the firm, you may want to ask the firm for more information.

Check how to complain: If you’re dealing with a firm in the CRO, you will not be able to complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service. 

You may be able to refer a complaint to a dispute resolution scheme in the firm’s home state, but it may be more difficult for a UK customer to use. So, you may want to ask the firm for more information about how to make a complaint.

If you have any concerns about a firm in the CRO or are contacted by a former passporting firm, you should contact us.

About the TMPR

Before 31 December 2020, you may have invested in an EEA UCITS fund that was marketed in the UK and managed by an EEA-based fund manager.

This fund manager was likely to be using the 'passporting regime' to market these funds in the UK. This meant that the funds didn’t need to be authorised by us.

Now that the transition period has ended, EEA fund managers can’t market their funds in the UK via a passport. If you notice that a fund is being marketed, the fund manager may be part of the temporary marketing permissions regime (TMPR).

The Government established the TMPR to allow fund managers to continue marketing some of their EEA UCITS funds for a limited time in the UK. During this time, they will look to get their fund fully recognised.

You can find out if a fund is in the TMPR by checking the FS Register. It will clearly state this at the top of the fund’s page. If the fund is not part of the TMPR, or if you have any concerns, you should contact us.

What should I check if I’m dealing with a fund in the TMPR?

You may want to:

Check if you’re protected if the fund fails: You will not generally have access to FSCS for claims relating to the management of a fund in the TMPR. You should check what cover you have (if any) with the fund manager.

Check how to complain: If you have invested in a fund that is in the TMPR, you will not generally be able to complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service about the firm’s management of the fund.

EEA fund managers should have an approach to dealing with complaints. There should also be alternative dispute resolution schemes in the relevant EEA state for resolving complaints. However, these options may not be available and, even if they are, they may be more difficult for a UK investor to use. So, you may want to ask the fund manager for more information about how to make a complaint and what you can do if you’re unhappy with their response.

More information

You may see these terms being used on the FS Register.

Find out more about what these terms mean.

Page updates

06/01/2021: Information added Section on 'what this means for you'.