Switzerland offers tough Brexit lessons for UK banks

As the UK’s financial institutions make their case for regaining unrestricted access to the single EU market after Brexit, the efforts of their Swiss counterparts give a hope.

Non-EU member Switzerland's banking sector has been fiercely fighting for more than half a decade to grasp full access to the EU market. Moreover, squabbles over immigration at home as well as political obstacles in Brussels have hindered progress.

Nevertheless, instead of waiting for a significant political breakthrough, Swiss banks, which require single market access, including Credit Suisse, UBS as well as Julius Baer have already set up their subsidiaries in Frankfurt and also Luxembourg, the EU, thus incurring extra costs and regulation.

This has just come at a cost to the Swiss financial center, with financial institutions moving thousands of jobs out of Switzerland. Additionally, the ASPB has warned a surging number of positions are going to be filled abroad without simplified EU access.

In spite of fundamental differences between the UK and Switzerland in terms of financial sectors, the workarounds Swiss banks have employed to mitigate their lack of pan-European access offer a pretty good guide to the options the UK’s lenders could explore.

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