British-Swiss Chamber of Commerce promotes dialogue between the Swiss and UK financial centres

Access to markets – especially in Europe – is vital to Switzerland’s heavily export-oriented financial sector. For this reason, the SBA has been working to foster exchange between representatives of the Swiss and UK financial centres. Yesterday’s event organized by the British-Swiss Chamber of Commerce provided a forum to discuss the opportunities created by closer collaboration.

On 30 June last year, Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer and UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak signed a joint statement on deepening cooperation between the two nations in financial services. It set out the goal of liberalising and expanding mutual market access in banking, asset management, insurance and capital market infrastructure. The agreement sought between Switzerland and the UK is to be based on the principle of mutual recognition of the applicable financial market regulations and supervisory frameworks. In the meantime, exploratory talks have taken place at government level, while at the start of February the two nations normalised relations in the area of stock exchange equivalence. Formal negotiations have been initiated with the goal of achieving substantial progress by the end of the year.

The event organised by the British-Swiss Chamber of Commerce and entitled “The future of British-Swiss financial sector collaboration – what now for Europe’s two largest financial centres?” was an opportunity to discuss the potential for both countries with sector specialists and experts.

In the panel discussion Jörg Gasser, CEO of the SBA, emphasised that open markets benefit all parties, and that progress on opening up financial markets between Switzerland and the UK should serve as a case study in how internationally oriented financial centres can work more closely together. The SBA welcomes the resolve of all concerned to secure an agreement on financial services in the foreseeable future. As an industry, the Swiss banks support the ambitious goal of achieving such an agreement as soon as possible. Mutual recognition as envisaged is the correct approach to pursue. The SBA will lend its support wherever it can add value, as the Swiss banking sector is playing a leading and innovative role in future issues such as sustainable finance and the digital transformation. Open markets will unlock synergies and foster healthy competition that brings advantages for both financial centres while increasing consumer choice overall.

The event was organised in association with economiesuisse, TheCityUK, the Fondation Genève Place Financière and the Swiss Bankers Association. Details can be found here

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