Information on the Financial Services Act (FinSA) and the Financial Institutions Act (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. On 6 November 2019, the Federal Council, by issuing the Financial Services Ordinance (FinSO), the Financial Institutions Ordinance (FinIO) and the Supervisory Organisations Ordinance (SOO), also issued the implementing provisions for FinSA and FinIA. These will come into force at the same time as FinSA and FinIA, on 1 January 2020.
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 FinIA, information on FinSA). 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”) and trustees, 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.

 

From the beginning of January 2020, the authorisation process will be handled electronically via the EHP survey and application platform and will basically consist of five steps. Details on the authorisation process are included in the documents presented at the information events for portfolio managers and trustees.

Responsibilities for authorisation, ongoing supervision and enforcement

FINMA authorises these financial institutions and is responsible for enforcement. Ongoing supervision of PMs and trustees will be performed by one or more supervisory organisations (SOs) authorised and supervised by FINMA. In the context of supervising these institutions, the SOs will also take on responsibility for supervising compliance with the obligations laid down in 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 FinSA

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 FinSA, and the reviewing body for prospectuses.

Next steps

In the context of FinSA and FinIA, the legislators and regulators have authorised FINMA to issue further technical implementing provisions in a variety of areas. As a result, FINMA will have to update existing FINMA ordinances (e.g. AMLO-FINMA and CISO-FINMA) and a number of circulars. FINMA expects to launch the public consultation on these changes in the first quarter of 2020. Adoption of the changes is planned for the fourth quarter of 2020.

Any questions?

Members of SROs can address their questions to their SRO.

If you have any questions for FINMA, you can contact us at: FIDLEG-FINIG@finma.ch or +41 31 327 98 88 (Monday to Friday, 08.00 a.m. – 12.00 p.m.).