Brexit: information for the banking and payment sectors in the UK

This page provides information on servicing your EEA customers in a no-deal scenario, safeguarded funds and access to payment systems.

Update: 20 December 2019

The government has indicated its commitment to the UK leaving the EU with a Withdrawal Agreement on 31 January 2020, followed by an implementation period during which it will negotiate the UK’s future relationship with the EU. Please keep this in mind when reading these pages.

We will update our pages after 31 January 2020 to reflect the UK’s new status.

What will happen in an implementation period? Read our overview to find out.

Servicing your EEA customers in a no-deal scenario

If you have customers in the EEA, you need to decide on your approach to servicing your existing contracts with them. You should take the steps available to you to continue to service customers in accordance with local law and national regulators’ expectations. We are clear that firms’ decisions need to be guided by what is the right outcome for their customers. In many cases, it would be a poor outcome for the consumer for you suddenly to stop servicing them.

Safeguarded funds

If you decide not to continue business in the EEA after Brexit, you should communicate this clearly to your customers and ensure that any customer funds are returned. Where customer funds are held in safeguarding accounts in foreign credit institutions, arrangements should be in place to ensure customers will continue to be able to claim their funds, where necessary.

Access to payment systems

UK Finance’s application for the UK to maintain participation in SEPA schemes after the UK’s exit from the EU was approved on 7 March 2019. This means that UK Payment Service Providers can continue to send and receive Euro payments within SEPA schemes.

Read the decision from the European Payments Council (EPC).

On 2 September, the EPC published a statement on the operational implications of a no-deal Brexit for SEPA transactions involving a UK-based SEPA participant. This statement reminded firms that they will need to ensure that they have made the relevant operational changes to ensure smooth processing of cross-border SEPA payments in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Currently, banks and payment service providers do not need to provide the name and address of the originating payer when making intra-EEA payments. However, this will be required for payments between the UK and the EEA when the UK is no longer part of the EU. Firms should ensure they are ready to provide the relevant customer information when making payments after the UK has left the EU in the case of a no-deal Brexit, including in relation to direct debit transactions.