SwissBanking
The online magazine of the Swiss Bankers Association
2019/04/04 01:40:00 GMT+2

Navigation

Message
Brexit and future Switzerland-UK relations

Brexit and future Switzerland-UK relations

It is very important for the Swiss banking sector, and for the overall economy, that relationships with the UK continue with the least possible amount of disruption after Brexit. The SBA therefore welcomes the fall-back measures taken by the Federal Council to date. Further to this, one of the sector’s declared objectives is the extensive liberalisation of reciprocal market access with the UK after Brexit.

At present, the relationships between Switzerland and the UK are in large part based on the bilateral agreements with the EU. However, after Brexit, these will no longer be applicable to the UK.

Ensuring the status quo...

After the Withdrawal Agreement was rejected by the UK Parliament for a third time, it remains unclear how the Brexit debate in the UK will end exactly. Whatever the outcome, however, the fact remains that Switzerland and the UK have intensive and multi-faceted economic relations. As part of its "Mind the Gap" strategy, the Federal Council therefore aims to secure the existing mutual rights and obligations with the UK beyond Brexit to the greatest extent possible and – if possible – further expand them. To this end, Switzerland has signed a total of five bilateral agreements with the UK in the areas of trade, transport, insurance and citizen’s rights, and has identified appropriate contingency measures in additional areas. These agreements are to come into effect as soon as Switzerland’s existing bilateral agreements with the EU no longer apply for the UK.

Switzerland and the UK have intensive and multi-faceted economic relations.

It is very important for the Swiss banking sector, and for the economy as a whole, that clear relations between Switzerland and the UK are in place as soon as possible after Brexit. Legal and planning certainty is essential, especially for export-oriented companies. The Swiss banking sector therefore welcomes the measures taken to date by the federal administration. This particularly in view of the fact that these measures are designed both to ensure that relations between Switzerland and the UK continue as seamlessly as possible after a Brexit, and to mitigate the serious consequences of a disorderly Brexit.

Legal and planning certainty is essential, especially for export-oriented companies.

Another important area of focus for the banking sector has been maintaining existing equivalence decisions in the area of finance. Written confirmation that these will be upheld has now been given, which is to be welcomed in principle.

... and deepening bilateral market access

The Swiss banking sector also sees Brexit as an opportunity to deepen bilateral relationships and optimise the existing market access regime (Status Quo+). The banking sector’s declared goal in this area is to liberalise reciprocal market access extensively after Brexit. This is to be set out in a tailored agreement and ensue on the basis of the mutual recognition of the respective country’s financial market regulation and supervisory authority.

The banking sector’s declared goal in this area is to liberalise reciprocal market access extensively after Brexit.

The sector is closely coordinating the objectives and principles relating to Status Quo+ with the Swiss authorities, economiesuisse and TheCityUK. The extent to which these initiatives will bear fruit also depends, however, on how Brexit unfolds. The SBA will very closely monitor all further developments.