As defined in Art. 41 FinIA, securities firms are dealers who, in a professional capacity, trade in securities in their own name for the account of clients (client dealers), trade in securities for their own account on a short-term basis, operate primarily on the financial market and could therefore jeopardise the functioning of the financial market, or who serve as a member of a trading venue (own-account dealers) or trade in securities for their own account on a short-term basis and maintain firm bid and offer prices in given securities permanently or on request (market makers). Pursuant to Art. 12 FinIA, persons who, in a professional capacity, underwrite securities issued by third parties on a firm basis or against commission and offer them to the public on the primary market (issuing houses) also require a licence, as do persons who, in a professional capacity, create derivatives and offer them to the public on the primary market for their own account or for the account of third parties (derivatives firms). A distinction must also be drawn between account-holding and non-account-holding securities firms.
Securities dealers require a licence to begin trading and are subject to prudential supervision by FINMA.
For a licence to be granted, there must be no doubt that the applicant meets or can meet all of the licensing requirements. The most important are:
The licensing process for securities firms takes place in constant dialogue with the applicants. The duration depends on the quality and complexity of the application and the current workload. In the case of applications with a foreign connection, the time it takes to receive a response from the competent foreign supervisory authorities must also be taken into account.
The Authorisation section of the Banks division (email@example.com)