Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey has told banks to step up their plans for the risk of Britain failing to reach a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union before a deadline at the end of 2020, Sky News reported on Wednesday.
Bailey held a conference call on Tuesday with Britain's biggest lenders in which he emphasised that they needed to step up their plans for a no-deal Brexit, Sky said.
The BoE was not immediately available for comment.
Britain left the EU in January and a transition period ends on Dec. 31. After that, without a preferential deal, British banks, insurers and asset managers will be limited to the kind of access given by the bloc to the United States, Japan and Singapore.
Britain's financial services minister John Glen said on Wednesday that the country's financial services industry was "world class" and was ready for whatever Brexit outcome.
"I continue to believe that we are still well placed as a sector, whatever the specific outcomes are of negotiations ahead of us in the second half of this year," he said on a webinar.
A senior European Union official said last week that Britain's financial services sector should be ready for a no-deal Brexit.
Britain wants binding commitments from the EU on financial market access to avoid the country's finance industry suddenly being cut off from the bloc, a request Brussels has rejected, EU officials and diplomats said on Tuesday.
(Writing by William Schomberg, editing by Andy Bruce)