Information on the Financial Services Act (FinSA) and the FinIA

On 15 June 2018 Parliament adopted the Financial Services Act (FinSA) and the Financial Institutions Act (FinIA). FinSA contains code of conduct provisions with which financial service providers must comply vis-à-vis their clients. FinIA essentially standardises the authorisation rules for certain financial institutions.

Here you will find the requirements for financial institutions which are now subject to supervision by FINMA and the changes in status for directly subordinated financial intermediaries (DSFIs) and distributors (information on the FinIa, information on the FinSA). As many of the definitive implementing provisions are not available at present, the information on this web page will be updated periodically.

Institutions now subject to FinIa

The introduction of FinIA will see independent managers of individual client portfolios (“portfolio managers”, "PMs”), trustees and some trade assayers, as defined in the Precious Metals Control Act (PMCA), become subject to supervision. Moreover, managers of the assets of occupational pension schemes, who were previously supervised by the Occupational Pension Supervisory Commission (OPSC), will now be subject to supervision by FINMA.

Authorisation process for portfolio managers and trustees

Portfolio managers and trustees require FINMA authorisation. When applying for authorisation, portfolio managers and trustees must provide evidence that they are supervised by an SO. Portfolio managers and trustees which are part of a financial group and are subject to group supervision by FINMA are exempted from the obligation to be supervised by an SO.

From the beginning of January 2020, the authorisation process will be handled electronically via the EHP survey and application platform (Link) and will consist of three basic steps.

Responsibilities for authorisation, ongoing supervision and enforcement

FINMA authorises these financial institutions and is responsible for enforcement. Ongoing supervision of PMs, trustees and trade assayers will be performed by one or more supervisory organisations (SO) authorised and supervised by FINMA. In the context of supervising these institutions, the SO will also take on responsibility for supervising compliance with the obligations laid down in the FinIA and FinSA, as well as compliance with AMLA rules, a responsibility which previously rested with the self-regulatory organisations (SROs) as defined in the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

Register of advisers and reviewing body for prospectuses as defined in the FinSA

The FinSA contains code of conduct provisions with which financial service providers must comply vis-à-vis their clients. It also makes provision for prospectus duties and requires an easily understandable key information document for financial instruments. With the introduction of FinSA, FINMA will also approve the registration body which manages the register of advisers, as defined in the FinSA, and the reviewing body for prospectuses.

Next steps

The Federal Council will determine when these two pieces of legislation enter into force. The FinSA will enter into force at the same time as the FinIA. According to an announcement by the Federal Department of Finance (FDF), it will ask the Federal Council to bring both laws into force on 1 January 2020.

Any questions?

Members of SROs can address their questions to their SRO.

You are welcome to contact us should you have any questions: or on +41 31 327 98 88 (Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. - noon)