Measure to protect Swiss stock exchange infrastructure

According to the EU share trading obligation, EU investment firms can in principle trade Swiss shares on Swiss trading venues only if the EU has recognised the equivalence of the Swiss trading venues. The EU granted Switzerland stock market equivalence only until the end of June 2019, but did not extend it beyond that date. In response, on 1 July 2019, the Federal Department of Finance (FDF) activated the measure to protect the Swiss stock exchange infrastructure.  

The Federal Council brought the measure to protect the Swiss stock exchange infrastructure (protective measure) into force on 30 November 2018, after the European Commission failed to extend Switzerland's stock market equivalence by that date. Since 1 January 2019, foreign trading venues have been subject to a recognition obligation if they admit certain shares of Swiss companies to trading or allow trading in such shares. The protective measure is designed to have no practical effect as long as stock market equivalence applies. Further information on the protective measure is contained in the explanatory document (see below).

In December 2018, the European Commission extended the stock market equivalence until the end of June 2019, but refrained from extending it beyond 30 June 2019. Consequently, with effect from 1 July 2019, the Federal Department of Finance (FDF) updated the list of jurisdictions that restrict their market participants in trading equity securities of companies headquartered in Switzerland on Swiss trading venues (see FDF list below), thereby activating the protective measure vis-à-vis the EU and its member states. The protective measure ensures that EU investment firms can continue to trade Swiss shares on Swiss trading venues even without EU stock exchange equivalence.

On 31 January 2020, the United Kingdom's (UK) membership of the European Union (EU) ended. At that time, the transition period agreed between the UK and the EU began (until at least the end of 2020). During this transition period, the UK remains bound by EU law; accordingly, the protective measure must remain applicable to trading venues based in the UK. The FDF has therefore updated the FDF list with effect from 1 February 2020 and included the UK as a separate entry from the EU.

The Federal Council remains of the opinion that Switzerland meets all the requirements for unrestricted recognition of the equivalence of Swiss stock exchange regulation by the EU. The Federal Council's objective and the best solution for all affected market players in Switzerland and abroad therefore remain an unlimited extension of stock market equivalence. With regard to the UK, the FDF will continue to monitor how the situation evolves in view of the end of the transition period.

Further information

Last modification 24.04.2020

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