Brexit Update: UK and Switzerland Sign Financial Services/Insurance Deal

The latest from HM Treasury for you;

Insurance sectors of the UK and Switzerland are set to continue trading freely with one another after the UK has left the EU, thanks to an agreement  signed today [25 January] at Davos by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond, and President of the Swiss Confederation and Head of the Federal Department of Finance, Ueli Maurer.

The new arrangement will replicate the effects of the existing EU agreement with Switzerland, and is part of the UK’s continued efforts to cement closer relationships with some of the world’s most important financial markets as it prepares for a future outside of the EU.

The agreement will come into force when the current EU-Swiss Direct Insurance Agreement ceases to apply to the UK.

The signing of the agreement is part of a series of meetings the Chancellor is having with leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, said:

“The UK insurance industry contributes approximately £35 billion to our economy and employs over 324,000 people.

“Links to financial industries like the Swiss insurance market are important for global financial systems and it’s vital that trade continues between our two countries so firms have the certainty they need to continue to do business and invest in the UK’s bright future.”

Despite its relatively small population, Switzerland is one of the world’s most significant financial centres. In 2016, Swiss investment in the UK’s financial services sector was over £11 billion, making the country one of the world’s largest investors in UK finance – second only to the USA.

The UK-Swiss Direct Insurance Agreement, like the Direct Insurance Agreement with the EU, allows firms to branch into each other’s jurisdiction with greater ease thanks to the mutual recognition of each other’s Insurance regulations. It will therefore ensure continuity for UK and Swiss insurers to access each other’s markets both now and in the future, consistent with the terms of the original EU-Swiss Direct Insurance Agreement.

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INDUSTRY REACTION:

Commenting on today’s announcement from HM Treasury of agreement being reached on a UK Switzerland deal on insurance, Carol Hall, Head of European and International Affairs at the Association of British Insurers, said:

“With many UK firms selling insurance direct from the UK into Switzerland it’s important this ability is preserved, and this deal does that. Switzerland is a major centre of insurance and we look forward to a wider and more ambitious agreement being developed in future to enable further mutually-beneficial business between the two important hubs of London and Zurich.”

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