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  • Writer's pictureInchmead

UK and Swiss recognise reciprocal audit qualifications

Regulators in the UK and Switzerland have signed a deal to allow auditors trained in each country to continue to work professionally in both jurisdictions

The arrangement means that auditors who have obtained professional audit qualifications and registration as a statutory auditor in either the UK or Switzerland can apply for recognition of their qualification and audit rights in the other country.

The move was necessary after the UK left the EU as existing agreements ended. This follows a similar reciprocal agreement with New Zealand signed earlier this year.

The scheme was agreed between the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and the Federal Audit Oversight Authority (FAOA), Switzerland’s competent audit authority.

To enable this, the FRC assessed the Swiss statutory audit qualification as equivalent to UK statutory audit qualifications.

The FRC prioritised mutual recognition discussions with Switzerland based on its large financial services sector, the size of its audit market, and strong trade relations with the UK.

The arrangements follow an umbrella agreement on Recognition of Professional Qualifications between Switzerland and the UK which was signed in June 2023 and comes into force in 2025.

Sarah Rapson, executive director of supervision at the FRC, said: ‘Like the UK, Switzerland has an influential financial services sector and a high number of skilled auditors.

‘The mutual recognition arrangement is a positive boost for the UK’s audit market and will further strengthen the close financial ties enjoyed between the UK and Switzerland.’

Dr Reto Sanwald, CEO of the FAOA, said: ‘The Swiss financial market, like that of the UK, benefits from highly qualified auditors with global experience. The mutual recognition of audit qualifications is a positive development which will further strengthen the close co-operation between Swiss and UK financial markets.’

The government funded the assessment of qualifications under the Recognition Arrangements Grant Programme, which was set up to support UK regulators and professional bodies in all sectors to agree recognition arrangements with their international counterparts.

Enterprise minister Kevin Hollinrake added: ‘This arrangement will come as welcome news for our world-leading services sector, providing British auditors with the tools to help them compete for more contracts in Switzerland and export their top-notch services abroad.

‘As a fellow services superpower, making trade in services easier will not only boost UK services exports, but also encourages new Swiss investment into the UK.’


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