UK and Switzerland to sign post-Brexit insurance deal
Written by Deborah Ritchie
The insurance sectors of the UK and Switzerland are set to continue trading freely with one another after the UK has left the EU. The new arrangement will replicate the effects of the existing EU agreement with Switzerland and will come into force when the current EU-Swiss Direct Insurance Agreement ceases to apply to the UK.
Switzerland is one of the world’s most significant financial centres. In 2016, Swiss investment in the UK’s financial services sector was over £11 billion, making the country one of the world’s largest investors in UK finance - second only to the US.
The UK-Swiss Direct Insurance Agreement, like the Direct Insurance Agreement with the EU, allows firms to branch into each other’s jurisdiction with greater ease thanks to the mutual recognition of each other’s Insurance regulations. It will therefore ensure continuity for UK and Swiss insurers to access each other’s markets both now and in the future, consistent with the terms of the original EU-Swiss Direct Insurance Agreement.
More than a dozen firms, mainly London Market firms, currently sell insurance direct into Switzerland. In 2017, the UK exported £384m worth of insurance and pension services to Switzerland.
Commenting on the announcement, head of European and international affairs at the ABI, Carol Hall said: “With many UK firms selling insurance direct from the UK into Switzerland it’s important this ability is preserved, and this deal does that. Switzerland is a major centre of insurance and we look forward to a wider and more ambitious agreement being developed in future to enable further mutually-beneficial business between the two important hubs of London and Zurich.”
In December last year HM Treasury agreed the terms of the US-UK Covered Agreement with the US Department of the Treasury and the Office of the US Trade Representative. The arrangement will provide continuity of the effects of the existing EU agreement with the US, once the UK leaves the EU.