UK and Switzerland sign groundbreaking cooperation agreement

The new Berne Financial Services Agreement will permit UK and Swiss financial services businesses to provide services more easily to each other’s domestic markets. Each country will mutually recognise the other’s domestic laws and regulations. The Government says the agreement will enable “frictionless” cross-border provision of financial services – and in some sectors firms will be able to service clients in the other country while largely following their own domestic rules.

The agreement also means that:

  • the UK will be the only country exempt from a new Swiss law requirement on insurance brokers to establish a base in Switzerland before serving any Swiss clients;
  • British financial advisers to Swiss HNWIs will no longer need to be registered with Swiss registration bodies, and so will no longer need to sit Swiss exams;
  • Swiss firms doing business in the UK will be able either to continue to use the overseas persons exclusion (if applicable) or use the new framework;

Separately, the Government is negotiating a wider Free Trade Agreement with Switzerland.

Emma Radmore