Only 20 banks met the June-end deadline to apply for post-Brexit licenses to operate across the EU, Bloomberg News reported July 4.
More than 100 banks currently use their U.K. licenses to access the wider EU market, the report said.
The European Central Bank had said financial companies needed to submit applications by the end of June if they wanted to receive licenses before Brexit in March 2019.
"We are active in avoiding adverse impacts from banks not being prepared, but we shouldn't run their businesses on their behalf," Pentti Hakkarainen, a member of the ECB's supervisory board, told Bloomberg. Hakkarainen also noted that the ECB is in talks with a number of banks that missed the deadline, potentially in the expectation that they could continue operating across borders as financial companies did before the EU's so-called passporting rights were in place.
Brexit aside, Hakkarainen added that banks should not expect regulatory leniency along the lines of what they have in the U.S. after leadership changes at the Single Supervisory Mechanism in 2019, Bloomberg reported.