Anthony Hilton: Switzerland is not the haven it is thought to be
Last Sunday at a speaking engagement down in Bath I sat next to a Swiss guy who wrote trading algorithms and software for Geneva based hedge funds. It was that sort of dinner – a place where the mathematically gifted fund managers exchange ideas and theories with academics on how to predict market movements.
All that is way over my head, but my Geneva man was fascinating on two fronts. Forget all that nonsense about British hedge funds decamping to Switzerland to avoid tighter regulation, he said. Very few have made the move, and some who did are looking to come back.
But where Geneva had scored was in commodity trading. He claimed it now accounts for more than half of all the oil traded in the world. London seems to have lost the plot on that one.
Forget too the idea that being outside the EU helps a country escape the regulatory clutch of Brussels. Leaving the EU and its regulatory burden behind may be the central plank of UKIP's policy for the UK, and that party is fond of saying that Norway and Switzerland flourish mightily on the outside.
But that is not how it looks from Geneva. The EU has made it quite plain it expects the financial sector in Switzerland to apply its rules if it wants to continue to do business with the other countries in Europe.
The Swiss have no choice but to comply, any more than we would.
Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
Strewth mate. Aussies wave goodbye to Britain as it becomes too pricey to stay
World news in pictures
X marks the spot: The find that could rewrite Australian history
Oklahoma tornado: Frantic search for victims continues, as tales of survival emerge
- 1 'He was lucky he didn't die' - George Michael fell out of speeding car onto M1 motorway, according to eye witness
- 2 Tottenham to smash pay scale with £150,000-a-week contract in attempt to tie Gareth Bale to club
- 3 Austerity has hardened the nation's heart
- 4 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 5 Why Arsène Wenger must spend to put icing on the cake and buy likes of Stevan Jovetic for Arsenal
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
iJobs Money & Business
£180 - £230 per day: Orgtel: Operations Analyst - Leading Bank in the City of ...
£500 per day: Orgtel: A top tier banking client urgently requires Finance Busi...
£425 - £550 per day: Orgtel: Senior Finance Project Manager - £550 - Bristol -...
£150 - £250 per day: Orgtel: KYC Analyst - London - Banking - £150-250/day C...