Ford has applied for a banking licence in Germany to keep operating cross-borders after Brexit, according to reports.
German daily Frankfurter Allgemaine Zeitung (FAZ) reported on Friday that Ford Credit Europe (FCE) applied for a full licence from the country’s regulator, BaFin, in summer of last year.
The application is expected to go through by this summer. It would come with an expansion of FCE’s branch in Cologne, currently operating under the name Ford Bank, and would require about a dozen new hires. Although FCE is currently based in Britain, the group’s Ford of Europe subsidiary is headquartered in Cologne.
In a submission to a UK government consultation on the consequences of Brexit in November, FCE had warned against not reaching a deal on single market access, saying: “FCE’s sole purpose is to finance the sale of Ford motor vehicles and Ford cannot afford any kind of disruption to FCE’s continuity of financing.”
Prior to that in March, FCE had disclosed to Motor Finance that it was conducting a study on its post-Brexit options for operating in Europe. Ford could not be reached for comment on Friday’s FAZ report.
Rival carmakers on the continent are also rushing to secure their post-Brexit future. In a move mirroring Ford’s, Germany-based Volkswagen Financial Services said in November that a UK banking licence was among “a number of options” they were considering to cope with the British market’s departure from the EU.