Switzerland sets up 24/7 Brexit hotline for worried citizens

Switzerland has opened a hotline for concerned citizens and businesses over the consequences of Brexit.
Switzerland has opened a hotline for concerned citizens and businesses over the consequences of Brexit.PHOTO: EPA

GENEVA (AFP) - Switzerland has opened a hotline to answer questions from concerned citizens and businesses over the consequences of Britain voting to leave the European Union, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday (June 24).

The hotline, which will be operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week, was opened just hours after results showing Britons had opted to leave the European Union.

"Although the electorate of the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union, current regulations regarding Swiss citizens and companies remain applicable for the time being and nothing will change immediately," a ministry statement said.

The ministry said there was "a high level of demand for information from Swiss citizens" both at home and abroad, with a list of frequently asked questions published on the home pages of the Swiss embassy in London and in Brussels.

 

Switzerland, which is mainly affected by Brexit in terms of currencies, has said it would expect an influx of funds from skittish international investors if Brexit became a reality.

The Swiss franc, long considered a safe haven currency, already saw its value surging after the publication of various polls in the run up to Thursday's vote suggesting Brexit could win the day in the June 23 referendum.

The Swiss rejected membership in the EU in a 1992 referendum.

 

Switzerland's central bank said on Friday it had "intervened" in the foreign exchange market to stabilise the Swiss franc, considered a safe haven currency, following the so-called Brexit vote.

"Following the United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union, the Swiss franc came under upward pressure," the banks said in a statement, adding that it had "intervened in the foreign exchange market to stabilise the situation and will remain active in that market."

As the result of the vote became clear, the Swiss franc strengthened considerably against the European single currency, trading at just 1.06 francs to the euro at 7am local time, compared with 1.10 francs to the euro seven hours earlier.