A group of top financial firms has ramped up pressure on the government to strike a “ground-breaking” trade deal with Switzerland today in a bid to ease the flow of cash between the two financial centres.
The value of trade between the UK and Switzerland hit £38.4bn last year but companies including Credit Suisse, Deloitte, HSBC and UBS are now calling on ministers to go further to strike a formal agreement to boost the flow of capital and services between the two countries.
Chris Hayward, policy chair of the City of London Corporation, which has convened the firms, said an enhanced Free Trade Agreement along with a Mutual Recognition Agreement in financial services between the two countries was a “top priority for the sector”.
The calls were echoed by senior chiefs in Switzerland today, with Jos Dijsselhof, chief of Switzerland’s flagship exchange SIX telling City A.M. a formal trade deal on financial services between the UK and Switzerland made “pragmatic sense”.
“Both nations are renowned global financial centres, with a shared cultural commitment to high regulatory standards, market integrity and investor protection,” he said.
“Our recent Future of Finance study across 300 international financial institutions found that having proven capabilities throughout times of change is key to ensuring continuous innovation.”
Officials from both governments are set to meet today to discuss the mechanics of a deal today as part of International Trade Week.
Chief Negotiator for a UK-Switzerland Enhanced Trade Agreement, Matthew Davies, will discuss progress of the agreement with Swiss counterpart Thomas Zimmermann.
Zimmerman said services sectors in both countries would “benefit a lot” from an “ambitious FTA covering services”.
“We look forward to deepening the dialogue with our UK partners in this area,” he added.