ZURICH May 11 Britain's planned departure from
the European Union opens the door for a UK-Swiss deal covering
financial services, the head of one of Switzerland's biggest
private banks said on Thursday.
Following a clamp-down on tax evasion which has eroded the
impact of Switzerland's bank secrecy laws, Swiss private banks
are increasingly setting up branches abroad to attract new
Boris Collardi, chief executive at Julius Baer,
Switzerland's third-biggest private bank behind UBS and
Credit Suisse, said Brexit could be a catalyst for deal
covering Swiss and UK financials firms.
"It is imaginable that Brexit represents a chance for
improved mutual market access between Switzerland and Britain in
financial matters," Collardi, speaking as chairman of the
Association of Swiss Asset and Wealth Management Banks, said in
Non-EU member Switzerland trades with the EU through a web
of more than 100 sectoral agreements, although this does not
include financial services. Switzerland's banking sector has
been battling for more than half a decade to win full access to
the EU market.
Collardi said a UK-Swiss deal could set a positive precedent
for Swiss-EU relations.
Diplomats say Swiss talks with Britain continue under Bern's
strategy of bolstering direct ties with London, but British
elections in June and its continuing EU membership until formal
Brexit are holding up any substantial progress. No deal is
likely until after Britain leaves the EU.
(Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)