Wednesday 02 November 2022 02:00

Major companies call for a trade agreement between the two countries to facilitate the flow of trade

A group of leading financial firms have stepped up pressure on the government to strike a ‘groundbreaking’ trade deal with Switzerland today in a bid to ease cash flow between the two financial centres.

The value of trade between the UK and Switzerland reached £38.4billion last year, but companies such as Credit Suisse, Deloitte, HSBC and UBS are now calling on ministers to go further to strike a deal formal agreement to stimulate the flow of capital and services between the two. countries.

Chris Hayward, political chairman of the City of London Corporation, which convened the companies, said a strengthened free trade agreement as well as a mutual recognition agreement in financial services between the two countries was a “top priority for the industry”.

The calls were echoed by senior officials in Switzerland today, with Jos Dijsselhof, head of Switzerland’s flagship exchange, SIX, telling AM City a formal financial services trade agreement between the UK and Switzerland made “pragmatic sense”.

“Both nations are renowned global financial centers with a shared cultural commitment to high regulatory standards, market integrity and investor protection,” he said.

“Our recent Future of Finance study of 300 international financial institutions found that having proven capabilities through times of change is critical to ensuring continued innovation.”

Officials from both governments are due to meet today to discuss the mechanics of a deal today as part of International Trade Week.

The chief negotiator for an enhanced UK-Switzerland trade deal, Matthew Davies, will discuss the progress of the deal with his Swiss counterpart Thomas Zimmermann.

Zimmerman said the services sectors in both countries would “benefit greatly” from an “ambitious FTA covering services.”

“We look forward to deepening the dialogue with our British partners in this area,” he added.