July 7, 2016 / 2:32 PM / 3 years ago

Swiss banking sector seeks to enlist Britain for EU negotiations

ZURICH, July 7 (Reuters) - Switzerland’s banking sector is looking to build a coalition with other international financial centres, including a post-Brexit Britain, to negotiate access to European Union markets.

Banks based in Britain have been able to sell financial services freely across the EU under the bloc’s “passporting” system, but such unfettered access could be lost after Britons voted last month to leave the EU.

The Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) is now hoping it can work with Britain, Hong Kong and Singapore to form a so-called F4 alliance that would seek a deal with Brussels on financial services.

“The Swiss Bankers Association is suggesting an alliance to other financial centres to better coordinate worldwide in areas such as regulation and market access,” an SBA spokeswoman said.

Switzerland is not a member of the EU but has a web of bilateral deals that give it access to parts of the single market, though this does not include financial services.

The F4 concept, reported earlier by the Financial Times, had been developed in 2012, the spokeswoman said, adding that the organisation is in regular contact with London, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The main aim would include the quick establishment of international standards in matters such as tax evasion while maintaining a competitive economic environment.

Reporting by Joshua Franklin and Oliver Hirt; Editing by David Goodman

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