The United Kingdom (UK) is an important economic and political partner of Switzerland. Relations between the two countries are also close in the financial sector. The two countries hold regular financial dialogues which serve to establish and maintain privileged contacts with the authorities involved in financial matters.
As of 1 January 2021, the UK is no longer part of the EU internal market and the customs union, and is no longer bound by EU law.
With Brexit, these agreements do no longer apply to the UK. For this reason, in October 2016, the Federal Council launched its "Mind the gap" strategy, in order to best ensure and, if need be, extend the existing reciprocal rights and obligations between the two countries.
In order to provide a seamless continuation of the current regulations in the financial sector, Switzerland and the UK signed an agreement on 25 January 2019 on direct insurance other than life assurance (UK-Swiss DIA). Like the insurance agreement with the EU, this agreement allows non-life insurance companies (e.g. household and travel insurers) to operate branches in the other country. On 1 January 2021, the Swiss-UK DIA came into force, seamlessly replacing the current legal basis in the area of insurance.
On 21 December 2023 in Berne, Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter and the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, signed an agreement on mutual recognition in financial services, the Berne Financial Services Agreement. The agreement boosts competitiveness and fosters the close cooperation between these two major international financial centres.
For the first time, two countries have mutually recognised the equivalence of their respective legal and supervisory frameworks in selected areas of the financial sector on the basis of an in-depth review. This enables or facilitates access to the other party's market. This is complemented by enhanced regulatory and supervisory cooperation, ensuring stability, integrity and the protection of clients.
In the area of taxation, a double taxation agreement (DTA) exists between Switzerland and the UK. The DTA has been revised several times, most recently by means of a protocol of amendment which entered into force on 19 July 2019.
In the area of administrative assistance in tax matters, the UK, like Switzerland, is a contracting party to the OECD/Council of Europe Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. On this basis and on the basis of the DTA, the two countries exchange information on request, automatically and spontaneously.
Switzerland and the EU signed an agreement on the AEOI in 2015. Since autumn 2018, data has been exchanged between Switzerland and the United Kingdom on this basis. As of 1 January 2021, the AEOI is continued on the basis of a Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA).
Last modification 22.12.2023