Berne Financial Services Agreement

TheCityUK welcomes the signing of the Berne Financial Services Agreement on 21 December 2023.

This landmark agreement represents a commitment from both the UK and Switzerland, two of the world’s major financial centres, to foster deeper cooperation in financial services. The cooperation extends across banking, asset management, insurance, and capital markets, and includes significant advancements in market infrastructure.

The signing is just the beginning of its journey as a ‘next generation’ partnership – one that can potentially set a standard for future agreements between advanced economies.

TheCityUK and the Berne Financial Services Agreement

Position papers published in 2018 and 2020 by TheCityUK and economiesuisse laid the foundation for this achievement. These papers set out a vision of an ambitious UK-Switzerland financial and related professional services relationship centred around the mutual recognition of regulatory and supervisory regimes and aimed at fostering improved and reciprocal market access. They emphasised the need for focus on comparable outcomes rather than rigid, line-by-line comparisons of supervisory regimes. This approach, now embodied in the Berne Financial Services Agreement, is testament to forward-thinking and adaptability in international financial cooperation.

A benchmark for international financial services cooperation

In today’s rapidly evolving economic landscape, the need for agile and responsive regulatory regimes is more important than ever. The Berne Financial Services Agreement offers a greatly improved bilateral framework that will be able to address the latest policy issues as it includes a dynamic review process to ensure its ongoing relevance. This approach will enable continuous recalibration of the relationship and provide the flexibility necessary for further developing bilateral integration in the future.

The Berne Financial Services Agreement sets a new benchmark in regulatory cooperation with financial services at its core. The process has been a great example of industry and government working in unison and continuing this collaboration will be essential to the agreement's ongoing success.