Sunak calls for financial services deal with the Swiss
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