Over 100 London investment firms get EU licences for Brexit hubs - regulator

LONDON (Reuters) - More than one hundred asset managers, trading platforms and investment firms in London have so far obtained licences to run new hubs in the European Union after Brexit, a top EU regulator said on Thursday.

Licences are granted by national regulators but the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) ensures they don’t offer sweeteners to UK-based firms that want a base to serve EU clients after Britain leaves the bloc, currently scheduled for Oct. 31.

“We have seen significant movement of activity from the UK to the EU27. The number of authorisations is above 100,” ESMA Chair Steven Maijoor told Reuters during a visit to London.

“There have also been some that are relocating by beefing up their existing entities in the EU27.”

London is Europe’s biggest financial centre, but the CME (CME.O) has transferred trading in European government bonds and repos from London to its new hub in Amsterdam. The London Stock Exchange (LSE.L) has moved trading in European government bonds to its Milan base.

CBOE (CBOE.Z) will offer trading in EU shares at its new Amsterdam hub from October to replicate its London unit, with rival exchange Aquis (AQX.L) set to follow suit at a new Paris unit.

Maijoor said such preparations for Brexit were largely an issue for the private sector.