Directly subordinated financial intermediaries

In 2018, Parliament adopted the Financial Institutions Act (FinIA) and amended the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) at the same time. The status of directly subordinated financial intermediaries (DSFI) will be cancelled when the FinIA comes into force. Portfolio managers, trustees and trade assayers as defined in the Precious Metals Control Act (PMCA) must therefore join a supervisory organisation (SO). Other DSFI are obliged to join a self-regulatory organisation (SRO).

The adoption of FinIA and associated amendments to AMLA entail a fundamental change in the supervision of the current directly subordinated financial intermediaries under Art. 2 para. 3 AMLA (DSFI). DSFI status and their supervision byFINMA will disappear when FinIA comes into force, which is currently scheduled for 1 January 2020.


Portfolio managers, trustees and trade assayers will be classified as financial intermediaries under Art. 2 para. 2 let. abis nAMLA and will have to join an SO licensed by FINMA to exercise their professional activity. The supervisory remit of the SO will include compliance with due diligence obligations under AMLA.


Other financial intermediaries as per Art. 2 para. 3 nAMLA will no longer be eligible for direct supervision by FINMA. Under the new regime, they will have to join a recognised SRO to exercise their professional activity. The SRO will supervise compliance with AMLA.


The definition of financial intermediaries in Art. 2 para. 3 AMLA has not changed with the exception of portfolio managers and trustees. Under Article 2 para. 3 nAMLA, financial intermediaries remain persons who, on a commercial basis, accept or hold assets belonging to others or who assist in the investment or transfer of such assets. In addition, the amended AMLA will still specify various activities and services as being subject to authorization by way of example. To assess the obligation to obtain an authorization, it will be necessary to refer to the Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance (AMLO) and FINMA Circular 2011/1 “Financial intermediation under AMLA” (Tätigkeit als Finanzintermediär nach GwG) on a case by case basis. The above adjustments to the legal regime must also be taken into account.

2011/01 FINMA-Rundschreiben "Tätigkeit als Finanzintermediär nach GwG" (20.10.2010)

Ausführungen zur Geldwäschereiverordnung (GwV)

Updated: 26.10.2016 Size: 0,22  MB
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