Switzerland and United Kingdom seek closer cooperation on financial services

Bern, 30.06.2020 - The Swiss and UK finance ministers, Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, today signed a joint statement on deepening cooperation between the two countries in the area of financial services during a virtual meeting. They also exchanged views on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economic situation and financial markets, as well as on national bridging aid schemes for the economy.

The joint statement signed by Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, underscores the shared ambition for an agreement between the two countries that would enable cross-border market access for a wide range of financial services relating to insurance, banking, asset management and capital market infrastructure. With such an agreement, Switzerland and the United Kingdom intend to reaffirm their commitment to the importance of open financial markets and international financial stability, as well as to consolidate their position as the world's leading international financial centres in Europe. Furthermore, Switzerland and the United Kingdom intend to deepen their already established cooperation in international financial bodies such as the Bretton Woods institutions in the future.

The agreement pursued by Switzerland and the United Kingdom is to be based on the principle of mutual recognition of the respective financial market regulations and the supervisory framework. Thereby, both sides are committed to investor and consumer protection, financial market integrity and stability, while maintaining the highest regulatory standards. Moreover, the future agreement could serve as a possible template for international cooperation in the area of financial services. Switzerland sees this work as a continuation of the "mind the gap" strategy, with which it intends to secure and expand the existing relationship with the UK beyond its withdrawal from the EU.

The two finance ministers also exchanged views on the situation regarding stock market equivalence and the measure to protect the Swiss stock exchange infrastructure. They  are holding out the prospect that reciprocal access to the Swiss and UK stock exchanges should be facilitated based on mutual recognition once both sides have implemented the necessary steps after the end of the United Kingdom's transition period vis-à-vis the EU.

The implementation of the ambitions set out in the joint statement will be discussed in the next financial dialogue between Switzerland and the United Kingdom in autumn 2020. An interim assessment will be carried out at the end of 2020.

The meeting of the two ministers took place via videoconference in Bern and London due to the continuing pandemic protection measures. Other topics discussed included the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economic situation and financial markets, as well as national bridging aid schemes for the economy.


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