Britain expects financial services deal with Swiss in summer 2023

Citibank, HSBC and Barclay's buildings are lit up at dusk in the Canary Wharf financial district of London
Citibank, HSBC and Barclays buildings are lit up at dusk in the Canary Wharf financial district of London, Britain, November 19, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

LONDON, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Britain's finance ministry said on Thursday it expects to conclude a ground-breaking deal with Switzerland on cooperation in financial services by late summer next year, helping the City of London bolster itself after Brexit.

The ministry said nearly two years ago it was moving to the next stage of talks on a "comprehensive mutual recognition agreement" in financial services such as banking, insurance and asset management.

UK finance minister Jeremy Hunt met with Ueli Maurer, head of Switzerland's Federal Department of Finance, on Thursday, the ministry tweeted.

"They discussed the UK & Switzerland's close relationship & our plans to deepen cooperation on financial services by concluding a Mutual Recognition Agreement by late summer 2023," the ministry said.

A report last month from the City of London Corporation, TheCityUK, and the Professional and Business Services Council urged a speedy mutual recognition deal, saying it would represent a "new paradigm" in international services trade to cut compliance costs and boost growth.

It would be based on mutual trust in each other's financial rules, rather than any rule-by-rule alignment.

A new financial services and markets bill being approved in parliament gives the ministry powers to implement mutual recognition agreements.

It would contrast with the near total cut off in UK financial services from the European Union since Britain left the EU.

The EU had rejected UK calls for a mutual recognition deal in financial services and has instead taken steps to build up its own capital market to cut remaining reliance on Britain in areas like derivatives clearing.

Britain and Switzerland agreed to barrier-free trading in shares on exchanges located in their countries from February 2021.

Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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