Su­nak calls for fi­nan­cial ser­vices deal with the Swiss

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Michael O’Dwyer

RISHI SU­NAK, the Chan­cel­lor, an­nounced the UK would ne­go­ti­ate a fi­nan­cial ser­vices trade agree­ment with Switzer­land to en­sure firms in both coun­tries could con­tinue to ac­cess each other’s mar­kets af­ter the Brexit tran­si­tion.

Mr Su­nak said the coun­tries were sign­ing a joint state­ment com­mit­ting them to talks on mu­tual recog­ni­tion of banks, in­sur­ers, as­set man­agers and cap­i­tal mar­kets.

Swiss banks Credit Suisse and UBS have ma­jor op­er­a­tions in Lon­don and nearly half of all Swiss fi­nan­cial ser­vices im­ports are from the UK.

Fol­low­ing the ex­piry of the Brexit tran­si­tion pe­riod at the end of De­cem­ber, the UK will lose the ben­e­fit of ex­ist­ing ar­range­ments between the EU and Switzer­land, which is not a mem­ber of the bloc.

The UK is keen to en­ter fresh bi­lat­eral agree­ments to pro­tect the City’s po­si­tion as a lead­ing global fi­nan­cial ser­vices hub.

Mr Su­nak said: “I think we’ve both learned in re­cent years of the dan­gers of mar­ket frag­men­ta­tion, and that uni­lat­eral ap­proaches to trade in fi­nan­cial ser­vices just don’t work.”

A trade deal for fi­nan­cial ser­vices could re­duce costs for com­pa­nies and im­prove co-op­er­a­tion between reg­u­la­tors.

The Chan­cel­lor also con­firmed that the UK con­sid­ers Switzer­land’s stock mar­ket reg­u­la­tion equiv­a­lent to its own, and that the UK au­thor­i­ties would grant ac­cess for cross-bor­der trad­ing on stock ex­changes af­ter the tran­si­tion.

It came as Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit ne­go­tia­tor, warned that Bri­tish trade ne­go­tia­tors would fail in their ef­forts to in­su­late the City of Lon­don from the worst con­se­quences of leav­ing the Euro­pean Union.

He said Bri­tish de­mands in the on­go­ing trade talks in Brus­sels were un­ac­cept­able and that UK plans to ditch EU fi­nan­cial reg­u­la­tion risked an­other cri­sis that could hurt the bloc.

UK pro­pos­als would make it easy to con­tinue to run EU busi­nesses from Lon­don af­ter the end of the tran­si­tion pe­riod, he said, and pre­vent the EU from be­ing able to freeze UK fi­nan­cial ser­vices out of the sin­gle mar­ket at short no­tice.

Rishi Su­nak said the UK and Switzer­land were com­mit­ted to talks on mu­tual recog­ni­tion of banks and cap­i­tal mar­kets

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