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UK Chancellor Sunak Seeks Deeper UK Insurance, Banking Ties With Switzerland

2021-01-28 16:21:47

UK Treasury Secretary Rishi Sunak will hold talks with his Swiss counterpart on Wednesday as the two countries seek to strengthen ties with financial services after Brexit.

The virtual discussions with federal councilor Ueli Maurer will focus on the goal of "a comprehensive mutual recognition agreement" to reduce costs and barriers for UK companies operating in Switzerland and vice versa, the Treasury said. The negotiations focus on sectors such as insurance, banking, asset management and capital markets.

"Our ambition is to deliver one of the most comprehensive financial services agreements of its kind as part of our plan to seize new opportunities in the global economy now that we have left the EU," Sunak said in a statement. statement. The two countries have a "shared commitment to high standards of regulation, market integrity and investor protection," he said.

Sunak is trying to seize opportunities that have been available since Britain completed its exit from the European Union late last year. He has alluded to a repeat of Margaret Thatcher's 'Big Bang' period of financial services deregulation, and in November outlined a broader vision for the industry, including a review of listing rules and a commitment to The country's first green gilts to be issued in 2021.

Sunak told the House of Commons on Tuesday that he hopes to provide an update when he announces the budget on March 3. "We are doing the technical work necessary to ensure that the launch of our green gilts is successful," he said.

In November, Sunak said he hoped the move would stimulate a broader green corporate bond market. His financial services plans also include plans for mandatory disclosure by companies of their exposure to climate change risks by 2025, measures to attract innovative companies to Britain and a consultation on the reform of UK fund rules.

The Treasury said talks with Switzerland will continue "at official level" in the coming months. But the UK is already strengthening its ties, and earlier this month the Treasury said it plans to allow this trading in Swiss shares, repealing an EU ban.

Conversations with banks

Regulations aiming to grant equivalence of equity trading to Switzerland's trading venues will enter into force on February 3, subject to parliamentary approval. The Treasury said it expects the Swiss to answer it.

Still, that's probably not enough to repair the damage done by Brexit. Before the EU ban, London-based trading in Swiss shares averaged 1.3 billion euros ($ 1.6 billion) per day, which equates to about one-fifth of the EU share trading that has now been lost.

Also on Wednesday, Sunak is scheduled to hold talks with the heads of some of the largest global banks, according to the Treasury, which did not detail those present. The Chancellor intends to reiterate the government's commitment to the UK financial services industry and to express "confidence that Britain will remain one of the world's leading financial centers," he said.

Next week there will be another meeting between the Chancellor and representatives of the insurance sector, asset managers and other companies.

–With help from Tom Metcalf.

Top photo: UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak

Copyright 2021 Bloomberg.

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