Insights | February 12, 2019

Finland and Sweden aim to allow cross-border offering of services under MiFID II from non-EEA countries in anticipation of Brexit

Executive summary

  • Considering the possibility of a hard Brexit and UK investment firms losing their EU passporting rights, resulting in Finnish institutional investors having limited access to these firms’ services, the Finnish government has proposed amending the Finnish Investment Services Act. The amendments would enable non-EEA investment firms to offer services directly into and conduct investment activities in Finland without establishing a branch office.
  • UK firms operating in Finland would have to apply for cross-border authorization from the FIN-FSA before Brexit, which would act as an extension of their current EU passport. This would enable them to continue activities in Finland until the FIN-FSA has processed their application for the cross-border authorization.
  • The new Finnish provisions are expected to enter into force as soon as possible this year, although it is uncertain whether the Finnish Parliament will be able to adopt the proposals in time. UK-authorized investment firms should, however, ensure that they have a valid EU passport to provide services in Finland and consider applying for the new cross-border authorization. They may continue to offer services while their application is being processed.
  • By contrast, assuming that new proposed legislation is adopted in Sweden, UK investment firms in Sweden, can continue to provide current EU passported services from the date of Brexit until the end of 2021.
  • Finland and Sweden have not planned or adopted corresponding measures to ease the provision of financial services to customers in other sectors of financial services, such as banking, payment services and insurance.

The whole article can be found attached.