Stock exchange instigates contingency plans for hard Brexit to protect operations
The London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) has kickstarted its preparations for a hard Brexit, warning that the terms of the UK's exit are still "unclear".
The company, led by newly-appointed boss David Schwimmer, has cautioned that a provisional agreement between negotiators in the UK and Brussels is yet to be approved by parliaments on both sides of the Channel, and could fall apart.
In a statement, the LSE said: "Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU continue but the UK's final exit terms are still unclear.
"The group is executing contingency plans to maintain continuity of market function and customer service in the event of a hard Brexit.
"These contingency plans include incorporation of new entities in the EU27 and applications for authorisation within the EU27 for certain group businesses.
"However, the complexity and the lack of clarity of the application of a hard Brexit may decrease the effectiveness or applicability of some of these contingency plans."
The firm said that although a draft withdrawal agreement had been drawn up by both sides, with plans for a 21-month transition arrangement after Article 50 is triggered in March 2019, this agreement could not be relied upon at the current stage of negotiations.
For the six months to June 30, the LSE's revenue grew 12% to £953m, up from £853m last year. Operating profit was £393m.