Brexit: UK Payment Service Providers barred from EU

13-01-2021 | treasuryXL | Enigma Consulting | Geert Blom

UK Payment Service Providers without an EU-license are barred from doing business in the EU. As of December 31, 2020, the UK and EU have concluded arrangements that effectuate the partnership between both parties on many different levels. However, the arrangement agreed upon does not include specifications regarding provisions, exemptions or special treatment for UK Payment Service Providers.

On January 31, 2020 the UK left the EU on the basis of the agreed withdrawal agreement. This prevented a no-deal Brexit on that date and led to the transition period until the end of 2020. In 2020, lawmakers have argued over the possibility to arrange for so-called EU-equivalence decisions with regard to the UK. These arrangements have not materialized and neither did EU member state parliaments deem it necessary to extend temporary exemptions for the provision of services by payment service providers or electronic money institutions established in the UK.

This means that from 2021 onwards, all British financial service providers without an EU-license are no longer allowed to provide many of their services to EU-clients. Also, the access rights of British financial institutions to provide cross-border financial services in the European Union will in many cases no longer apply. The financial supervising authorities expect that British institutions have taken timely preparatory measures so that the relevant state laws and regulations are complied with. Compliance could and can still be attained by applying for – and receiving – a payment institution license in one of the EU member states.

In recent years, The Netherlands have served as a favorite hub nation for many UK PSP’s. At Enigma Consulting, we are experienced and market leader in applying for payment institution licenses specifically in the Netherlands, for both PSP’s and EGI’s. We specialize in creating all required documentation and provide expert guidance on all applicable policies, procedures and related topics. If you too aspire to do business in the Netherlands as a PSP or EGI and if you are currently in need of expert advice or assistance with acquiring a license, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected].


Geert Blom

Senior Legal Consultant

+31 (0)6 13 91 88 22