UK And Switzerland Forge Unprecedented Financial Alliance

UK Signs Unique Finance Deal With Switzerland

Jeremy Hunt, signing the Berne Financial Services Agreement. Credit: Jeremy Hunt/X

EARLIER this week, The UK and Swiss governments signed the Berne Financial Services Agreement, described as a ‘ground-breaking’ pact on financial services cooperation.

On Thursday, December 21, UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and Swiss Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter finalised the Berne Financial Services Agreement.

This landmark deal, held in Berne, allows UK businesses to provide financial services to the Swiss domestic market, and vice versa. It will provide the UK with access to the Swiss market that no other country will have.

Revolutionary Access And Cooperation

The agreement introduces mutual recognition of domestic financial laws and regulations, facilitating easier business interactions for corporate and high-net-worth clients in both markets.

It allows for seamless cross-border financial services, including asset management, banking, and investment services. This means UK firms can largely operate in Switzerland under UK rules and vice versa.

Unmatched Market Access For UK

A notable aspect of the pact is the unprecedented access it grants British insurance brokers to the Swiss market.

From 2024, while international firms must establish a Swiss base to operate, the UK is exempt from this requirement. This grants British brokers a competitive edge, as they can continue operations as usual.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said, ‘The Berne Financial Services Agreement is a global first and builds on the UK and Switzerland’s strengths as two of the world’s largest financial centres.’

Long-Term Benefits

The agreement not only ensures legally binding open access in financial services for decades but also maintains high regulatory standards, market fairness, and investor protection.

It also allows both countries to modify or introduce domestic regulations independently.

This pact offers a chance for both nations to bolster international financial standards. It levels the playing field for smaller firms, exempting them from intricate Swiss regulations.

British financial advisers will also benefit, as they will no longer need Swiss registration to serve Swiss clients.

‘This deal complements the work we’re doing with Switzerland to agree on a new, modernised free trade agreement and will help the UK reach our goal to export a trillion pounds of goods and services a year by 2030,’ said Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch.

Miles Celic, CEO of TheCityUK, stated, ‘It establishes a new and ambitious benchmark for how major financial centres can collaborate to establish gold-standard agreements.’

David Postings, CEO of UK Finance, declared, ‘The innovative agreement sets an ambitious precedent and we hope it will serve as the new standard for future deals with other financial centres around the world.’

Chris Hayward, policy chairman of the City of London Corporation, celebrated, ‘This will help to boost cross-border investment, jobs, growth and competitiveness in both our countries.’

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.