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Barclays chairman: British government supports 3-year transition deal

Barclays Plc Chairman John McFarlane said that he believes the British government supports a three-year transition period for financial institutions after Brexit, Reuters reported Jan. 19.

McFarlane told Reuters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that the government understands the complexity of this issue.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said that the U.K. will leave the EU single market by March 2019, but pursue transitional arrangements, an announcement that will pile pressure on multinational banks to accelerate planning for the future of their U.K. operations, according to European lobby groups courting the business of London-based banks.

Brexit Secretary David Davis said Jan. 18 that there will only be a maximum of a two-year transitional deal, while May said the prior day that the time period of any such deal may vary for different industries, Reuters reported.

Separately, Barclays CEO Jes Staley said that most of the bank's European business should continue to be able to operate from the U.K., which will remain "the financial lungs for Europe" post-Brexit, BBC News reported.