City Corporation and TheCityUK host governments and businesses to discuss landmark UK-Swiss (‘Berne’) Financial Services Agreement

The City of London Corporation in partnership with TheCityUK has today (11 March) hosted an event involving the UK and Swiss governments which explored the landmark Berne Financial Services Agreement between the two countries. A new report, "The Berne Financial Services Agreement: Explaining the UK-Switzerland Agreement on Mutual Recognition in Financial Services, produced by the Corporation in collaboration with Clifford Chance, underpinned the conversations.  

The event took place at Guildhall and involved a high-level discussion of the agreement by The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Bim Afolami MP and the Swiss Ambassador to the UK, Markus Leitner. Senior representatives from major businesses of both countries were also in attendance.

The Berne Financial Services Agreement marks the first broad Mutual Recognition Agreement in financial services between two jurisdictions anywhere in the world. The deal was signed in December and it is moving towards ratification by both countries, with proactive steps being undertaken to implement its provisions into their respective domestic laws.

The event and report explored how the deal will work in practice, the opportunities it presents for businesses and what further steps could be taken to build on the Agreement.

The UK and Switzerland are the two largest financial centres in Europe, with the sectors in both countries worth £275bn and £82bn respectively. The UK and Switzerland are also negotiating a new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to complement the Berne Financial Services Agreement with other provisions that enhance trade in financial and other professional services.


Policy Chairman of the City of London Corporation, Chris Hayward said:

“The City of London has long been a supporter of free trade and open markets, we have been very active in facilitating discussions around this agreement  and this latest event continues that tradition.

“The UK is the largest net-exporter of financial services in the world yet for far too long financial services, have been excluded from free trade agreements and indeed almost any form of international arrangement. We must play to our strengths and flip our trade policy. This landmark deal is the first step in addressing that. It will deliver huge benefits for firms in terms of increased market access and cross-border investment.

“We hope that this Mutual Recognition Agreement sets a new precedent for UK Financial Services Trade.”


Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Bim Afolami MP,  said:

“The Berne Financial Services Agreement is a true global first – helping us grow our economy and solidifying open access for financial services between our two countries.

“The UK and Switzerland are the two largest financial centres in Europe, and we continue to work together closely to implement the Agreement.”


Miles Celic, Chief Executive Officer, TheCityUK said:

“The signing of the Agreement back in December was a transformative moment for UK and Swiss financial markets. It lays the groundwork for a future where innovation and growth are accelerated through mutual understanding and cooperation. Its success, however, hinges on its effective implementation and active engagement from governments and business.

“Our priority now is to continue collaborating with the UK and Swiss governments on implementation, and ensuring that the forthcoming UK-Swiss FTA prioritises areas like mobility, mutual recognition of professional qualifications, and digital services and innovation to maximise the benefits of this partnership.”


Ambassador of Switzerland to the United Kingdom Markus Leitner said:

“Swiss companies have created over 90,000 jobs in the UK and this first-of-its-kind agreement, once ratified, will deepen these economic ties even further – enabling greater cross-border trade in financial services and strengthening the already thriving co-operation between our two world leading financial centres.”



Notes to editors

About the City of London Corporation

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk


About TheCityUK
TheCityUK is the industry-led body representing UK-based financial and related professional services. We champion and support the success of the ecosystem, and thereby our members, promoting policies in the UK, across Europe and internationally that drive competitiveness, support job creation and enable long-term economic growth. The industry contributes over 12% of the UK’s total economic output and employs nearly 2.5 million people, with two thirds of these jobs outside London, across the country’s regions and nations. It is the UK’s largest net exporting industry and generates a trade surplus exceeding that of all other net exporting industries combined. It is also the largest taxpayer and makes a real difference to people in their daily lives, helping them save for the future, buy a home, invest in a business and protect and manage risk.

www.thecityuk.com @TheCityUK