The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has applied for a German banking license to retain EU clients in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

RBS has a Dutch license following the takeover of ABN Amro in 2007. The lender now seeks a German license for its NatWest subsidiary. The move will allow the bank to benefit from passporting rights allowing it to operate across the continent. About a third of the lender’s customers are EU citizens.

The RBS Group is effectively state-owned and issues banknotes in Scotland and Northern Ireland. British taxpayers own 62% of the lender, following a bailout at the height of the 2009 financial crisis.

Ahead of Brexit, 37 UK based financial institutions have applied to the European Central Bank for new licences, or to extend existing ones. Thus far, the clear beneficiary as a result of Brexit has been the German city of Frankfurt, where 30 lenders have set up a base, moving with them €800 billion in assets