EU offers Swiss bourses deal
The EU executive will offer Swiss stock exchanges a twoyear extension of their right to operate in the bloc if the Swiss government approves an overall deal on future relations on Friday, EU sources say. If Switzerland does not back the draft pact, however, the European Commission will not extend the recognition of the SIX Swiss Exchange — the country’s main stock exchange — and other trading venues beyond 2018,EU sources said following a meeting of EU diplomats on the issue on Wednesday.
The Swiss cabinet is expected to decide on Friday on whether to back the draft agreement reached with the commission on future bilateral ties.
“It’s deal time. Playing for time wouldn’t change anything. The draft will not be changed anymore,” an EU official said.
Under the draft deal, which would govern EU-Swiss relations currently regulated by about 120 accords by sector, Switzerland would automatically adapt its migration and social security rules to changes in EU legislation, EU diplomats said.
The EU wants the overall framework agreement before it extends recognition of Swiss exchanges beyond the end of 2018, when it will otherwise expire. Financial operators from countries that are not members of the EU can operate in the bloc under a so-called equivalence regime which recognises that foreign-country market rules are compatible with EU laws.
This regime, which would also concern British firms after Britain leaves the bloc, is granted for limited periods and could be suspended by the EU anytime if significant changes are made in foreign rules.
The SIX bourse has repeatedly warned that it risked losing much of its exchange business if no EU-Swiss deal was reached by the end of 2018 on future relations. Switzerland has been for decades integrated in the EU market but is not a member of the 28-country bloc.
But the chances of a deal remain slim.
Future in the spotlight: People walk in front of the headquarters of the Swiss Stock Exchange operated by the SIX group in Zurich in November.