The Bank of England urged the European Union on Tuesday to do more to protect cross-border financial services from the risks of a "cliff-edge Brexit", saying the need for action was now pressing.

Less than six months before Britain is due to leave the EU, creating the potential for new barriers for companies doing business across the English Channel, the BoE said in its strongest warning so far that it saw risks for insurance, derivatives and the transfer of data.

London and Brussels have yet to agree the terms of Britain's departure from the bloc and their new relationship, a deal that would mean business as usual until the end of 2020.

"There has been considerable progress in the UK to address these risks, but only limited progress in the EU," the central bank's Financial Policy Committee (FPC) said in a statement published on Tuesday after a meeting on October 3.

"In the limited time remaining, it is not possible for companies on their own to mitigate fully the risks of disruption to cross-border financial services. The need for authorities to complete mitigating actions is now pressing."

Bankers say Brussels wants to pile pressure on banks, insurers and fund managers in London to open up new hubs in rival EU financial centres such as Frankfurt, Paris and Dublin.

The European Commission said on Tuesday it has consistently encouraged all stakeholders in financial services to prepare for Brexit, and that it continued to analyse with the European Central Bank possible risks for markets.

The EU executive will review the situation after an EU summit next week that seeks to finalise Britain's exit deal and transition period, a Commission spokesman said.

The industry is also waiting to see what steps if any a joint BoE and ECB working group will take to keep markets orderly around Brexit Day.

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