LONDON (Reuters) - The Bank of England said on Wednesday finance companies operating in Britain will have more time to meet a Brexit deadline, in a move aimed at avoiding a potentially disorderly shift of people and operations across the continent.

Britain and the European Union last week agreed a transition period of 21 months that will follow Britain's departure from the bloc in March 2019 during which companies will have unchanged access to the bloc's markets.

But many banks have said they will not be able to rely on such a political deal as it will not be formally ratified by governments until the autumn and any deal could collapse if there is domestic political upheaval in the months before Britain leaves.

Companies will be able "to plan that they will be able to continue undertaking these activities during the implementation period in much the same way as now," the BoE said in a statement.


"The Bank has made clear to relevant firms that they may plan on the assumption that UK authorisation or recognition will only be needed by the end of the implementation period," the BoE added.