The Bank of England has called for financial services companies to prepare for Brexit as it launches a new stress test for UK banks.
The Financial Policy Committee said today that an additional stress test with a seven year timeframe will run alongside its annual cyclical stress test.
The test will assess how resilient the UK banking system will be if “recent headwinds to bank profitability persist and intensify”, and will consider weak global growth, persistently low interest rates, falling world trade.
Cross-border banking activity and the increased pressure on large UK banks from smaller banks and non-banks will also be taken into account.
At its meeting on 22 March, the FPC said it is also considering how to counter businesses creating increasingly complex structures post Brexit, which could “reduce the resilience of the UK financial system”.
With Article 50 being triggered on Wednesday, the FPC says there are “a range of possible outcomes”, with risks to financial stability “influenced by the orderliness of the adjustment to the new relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union”.
The FPC says: “The FPC will assess the financial stability implications of firms’ plans to adapt to the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union,”
“The FPC supports the work of the Prudential Regulation Authority and FCA to ensure regulated firms have comprehensive plans in place to operate in a range of possible outcomes. Sudden adjustment could disrupt the provision of market liquidity and investment banking services, particularly to the EU real economy, which could spill back to the UK economy through trade and financial linkages.”