LONDON, Sept 12 Switzerland's stock exchange is
in talks with financial regulators in a number of European
countries about opening a new gateway to the EU's single market
once Britain leaves the bloc, it said on Monday.
The talks highlight how the City of London's role as the
region's leading financial hub is likely to be eroded to some
extent as companies seek alternative centres to guarantee access
to the European Union come what may.
Like many foreign financial firms in London, the SIX Swiss
Exchange uses the British capital as a base for business across
the European Union, given that Switzerland is not a member of
the 28-nation bloc.
"We are in discussions with a number of regulators in order
to help us to continue to access markets in Europe and the UK,"
a spokesman for the Zurich-based bourse said on Monday.
"Both markets are key for SIX in both the trading and the
clearing business. Over half of our members come from outside of
Switzerland," he said.
The Financial Times reported earlier on Monday that the
Swiss exchange was in talks with Germany's BaFin markets
watchdog about access to the EU market.
Britain's exit from the EU, known as Brexit, is forcing many
financial companies that use London as a springboard to the EU
market to rethink their business models.
London-based Bats Europe, the biggest stock exchange in
Europe, has said it may open a base in Dublin to have guaranteed
access to the bloc's single market.
To get access to another EU country, the Swiss exchange will
have to show a regulator within the bloc that Zurich's share
trading regulations are similar, or "equivalent" to EU rules.
The equivalency regime is an open-ended process financial
firms in Britain can also try to exploit if country's membership
of the single market ends following Brexit.
(Reporting by Huw Jones; editing by David Clarke)