Linklaters Senior Counsel, Dr. Lorand Bartels, gives evidence to Lords committee, regarding Financial Services under the WTO

The EU Financial Affairs Sub-Committee heard evidence today, Wednesday 13 March 2019, from Dr. Lorand Bartels, Senior Counsel at Linklaters LLP and Reader in International Law at the University of Cambridge and Eric White, Consultant, Herbert Smith Freehills on Financial Services under the WTO.


The session covered questions such as:

  • How far does the WTO liberalise financial services compared to goods or other types of services?
  • How does the WTO – and in particular GATS – liberalise financial services?
  • Where does the UK’s schedule of commitments for services stand at the WTO? What will happen if current objections to certifying the UK’s schedule are not withdrawn?
  • What is the exception for ‘prudential’ measures in the financial services sector? How does this differ from similar exceptions in FTAs?
  • What are WTO rules on ‘equivalence’ of financial services rules? How legal under WTO law are the EU’s ‘autonomous’ equivalence decisions? Is the EU at risk of being sued by Switzerland for its discriminatory time limited equivalence decision for Swiss stock exchanges?