Under the Banking Act, which by analogy also applies to securities firms in this regard, Swiss-controlled banks and securities firms need an additional licence when they transfer to foreign control.
Swiss banks and securities firms qualify as foreign-controlled when foreigners holding qualified participations directly or indirectly hold more than half of the voting rights or exert a controlling influence in any other way.
"Foreigners" are individuals who have neither Swiss citizenship nor a type C Swiss residence permit. Legal entities are regarded as foreign if their registered office is outside Switzerland or if they are directly or indirectly controlled by foreigners.
FINMA grants an additional licence subject to the following conditions:
When the foreign holders of qualified participations in a foreign-controlled institution change, the institution must apply to FINMA for a further additional licence. This legal requirement applies to Swiss banks and securities firms, as well as to branches of foreign banks and securities firms.