Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

Brexit Passporting – RBS Applies For German Banking Licence

We’ve been regaled for many a month now with stories about how Brexit is going to entirely devastate, kill off, Britain’s financial companies unless we backtrack, stay in and retain those passporting rules. Instead, as Royal Bank of Scotland is showing with its application for a German banking licence, all that’s required is that such firms do a little paperwork and everything carries on as before. And no, it doesn’t mean that the banks and the stockbrokers and the accountants and the lawyers and all the rest leave the country. It means they put one gombeen man behind a brass plate in some European city and that’s that:

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS.L) has applied for a German banking licence to help maintain access to European markets after Britain’s exit from the European Union, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.[/perfectpullquote]

This isn’t a big deal:

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Under the plan, RBS will upgrade its current branch in Frankfurt with a new licensed unit.[/perfectpullquote]

They’re not even placing a gombeen man there, they’re just changing the name and the paperwork.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Taxpayer-funded RBS applies for GERMAN banking licence over Brexit fears[/perfectpullquote]

Fears? The problem is trivial. The EU’s own rules state that if you’re licenced and ready to roll in any one EU country then you’re licenced and ready to roll in any and every EU country from that one office/brass plate. So, all any City firm needs to do in order to be ready to roll is have a brass plate in any one EU country.

And that’s it. The whole shouting match over passporting rights and even the effect of Brexit upon The City is a sleight of hand, a misdirection. File another bit of paperwork and we’re done. We simply don’t need a special deal, we most certainly don’t want to stay in the customs union, or Single Market, or EFTA or whatever, just to save the bankers a bit of form filling.

Out it is come March 29, thankfully.

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