Jeremy Hunt to strike post-Brexit banking deal with Switzerland

Jeremy Hunt is set to strike a post-Brexit banking deal with Switzerland that will make it easier for UK finance companies to access the Swiss market and vice versa.

The chancellor is in Bern on Thursday to sign the agreement based on mutual recognition of each other's economic laws and regulations.

The Treasury is hoping for a major boost in the City of London by creating a framework for cross-border trade in financial services. Financial Times mentionted.

Although Britain has lost access to the EU's single market, Mr Hunt will attribute the UK's ability to strike its own deals with major financial hubs to Brexit.

When Britain left the bloc, it risked losing the benefits of its previous trade deals with Switzerland, which were based on EU rules despite not being a member state.

The Treasury said the Bern Financial Services Agreement was “only possible because of the new freedoms granted to the UK after it leaves the EU”, adding: “The agreement will strengthen the already thriving UK-Switzerland relationship for financial services”.

He added that the two nations' relationship “is underpinned by a commitment to international standards and a shared belief in the value of open and resilient financial markets.”

Jeremy Hunt will argue that the Swiss deal is only possible because of Brexit

(AFP via Getty Images)

The chancellor is due to sign the agreement with Swiss finance minister Karin Keller-Sutter. The new deal permanently restores UK access to Switzerland's financial sector and is said to open the door to a wider trade deal.

Labor MP Paul Blomfield, co-convener of the UK's cross-party Trade and Business Committee, said the deal would be “well received across the City” and was “a welcome recognition” by the government that it needed to provide regulatory certainty .

But the senior campaigner warned there was more to do to remove wider trade barriers for UK companies still struggling to deal with Brexit red tape.

Mr Blomfield added: “The EU remains the largest overseas market for most UK businesses and protecting them requires similar beneficial regulatory alignment arrangements, which will break down barriers, reduce costs and unlock the huge potential of the UK economy.” .

It comes as the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) urged Rishi Sunak and Mr Hunt to consider a range of side and complementary deals with the EU to ease ongoing trade frictions.

Almost two-thirds of UK exporters say selling to the EU has become even more difficult in the past year, according to the BCC's latest Brexit report.

The leading business group has called for a series of deals with Brussels – on carbon taxes, VAT regulations and food controls – to soften the impact of Boris Johnson's trade deal.