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Switzerland, Germany Intensify Financial Sector Cooperation

Ulrika Lomas, LawAndTax-News.com, Brussels

21 August 2013


On August 16, 2013, Switzerland and Germany agreed to intensify cross-border cooperation in the financial sector, by way of an exchange of letters signed by the German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble and the Swiss Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf.

Originally, an agreement on cross-border financial services was contained within the scope of the bilateral withholding tax agreement signed by the two countries in 2011, but which was blocked by the German parliament in December last year, and, thereby, it too became null and void.

The new agreement is supplemented by two implementation agreements between the financial market supervisory authorities. These cover an intensification of cooperation on the cross-border provision of banking services and the admission of securities funds.

The agreement is based on reciprocity and is beneficial for both countries – competition will be promoted, cooperation between the financial market supervisory authorities will be increased, and consumer protection will be boosted.

Swiss financial institutions, wanting to benefit from the agreement but without German subsidiaries, must comply with the relevant German investor and consumer protection provisions in Germany. To this end, Germany's Federal Financial Supervisory Authority can accompany the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority in the case of on-site inspections, but no client data will be disclosed in the process.

TAGS: Finance | law | banking | financial services | ministry of finance | agreements | Germany | Switzerland | services

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