|Roberto Cristofolini:||Hello, I am Roberto Cristofolini, a financial services partner in the Paris office, and I would like to say a few words about French developments on the Brexit front. Concerning steps already taken, the French regulator has introduced new licensing procedures in relation to UK-owned operations requiring a licence post-Brexit. The new licensing procedures relate to investment firms, to payment institutions, to electronic money institutions, insurance companies and asset management companies. They do not relate to credit institutions, as they are eventually licensed by the ECB.
The new licensing procedures consist of a simplified and accelerated procedure for existing operations, which are already supervised by the UK authorities, and these procedures can be led in English, using existing English language documents. To make the new licensing procedures easier, the French authority has appointed English speaking representatives, and they have opened a special website, and mailboxes. Also, concerning asset management companies, the AMF has already contacted them to enquire as to what they propose to do in relation to Brexit.
Concerning new measures on Brexit, French authorities have not published any yet, and we understand that they are working together with the European authorities.
Areas of particular concern to French authorities are continuity of contract after March 2019, the impact of relocation in the EU of the clearing of contracts denominated in Euro, the existence of a transitional period, and the treatment of French operations that would be empty shells.
Concerning Brexit-related activities that we see in the market, last year a large number of institutions have been reviewing possible options on the basis of a hard Brexit, and some of them have already started a reorganisation, and areas -- we understand that areas of particular concern to institutions are continuity of contracts, and the ability to carry out outsourcing and delegation to or from the UK.