UK grants equivalence to Switzerland's stock exchanges
On 3 February 2021, the UK parliament granted equivalence to Switzerland's stock exchanges. In turn, measures taken by Switzerland to protect its trading venues will cease to apply to the UK market. Again an important step towards a closer cooperation between Switzerland and the UK.
After the joint statement between the finance ministers of Switzerland and the United Kingdom (UK) on 30 June 2020 and a meeting in September 2020, Federal Councillor, Ueli Maurer and Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, held a (virtual) meeting to agree on the next steps and to make further appointments in the near future. The aim of the two countries is to reach an agreement based on the mutual recognition of the relevant financial market regulations as well as the respective supervisory framework.
In particular, the two ministers discussed the recognition of the Swiss stock exchanges by the UK and Switzerland's countermeasures in order to protect its stock exchange infrastructure that entered into force on 1 July 2019 after the European Union had not extended the equivalence to Switzerland.
On 3 February 2021, the equivalence to Switzerland's stock exchanges has been approved by the UK parliament and entered into force. In return, Switzerland will remove restrictions on UK trading venues. The Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has already updated its list of recognised trading venues to include the London Stock Exchange plc and other UK trading venues again.
Furthermore, an agreement on financial services shall be worked out and signed by Switzerland and the UK in order to reaffirm the importance of open markets and financial stability as well as strengthening their position as leading international financial centres in Europe.
The initiative to strengthen the cooperation regarding financial services between Switzerland and the UK is part of Switzerland's so-called "mind the gap" strategy in relation to the UK following Brexit.