The legal basis for the authorisation of financial market infrastructures is primarily set out in the Financial Market Infrastructure Act (FMIA) and the associated ordinances.
Under Article 4 of the Financial Market Infrastructure Act (FMIA), anyone intending to operate a stock exchange or a multilateral trading facility in Switzerland must be authorised by FINMA. Stock exchanges are institutions for multilateral securities trading where securities are listed, whose purpose is the simultaneous exchange of bids between several participants and the conclusion of contracts based on non-discretionary rules (Art. 26 let. b FMIA). Contrary to stock exchanges, multilateral trading facilities do not list the securities traded on them.
Self-regulation plays an important role in the regulation of trading venues (Art. 27 FMIA). Under the statutory rules, stock exchanges and multilateral trading facilities must have their own independent regulatory and monitoring organisation appropriate to their activities. To this end, they issue regulations, which they submit to FINMA for approval.
In some markets, a central counterparty (CCP) acts as contracting party between buyer and seller and therefore becomes the legal contracting party for both the buyer and seller. This has become a widespread international practice in stock exchange trading with shares.
Exchange-traded securities are physically stored by an authorised central securities depository (CSD). Following a securities transaction, the depository transfers ownership of the securities in question from seller to buyer by means of booking orders.
Trade repositories collect and manage data on derivatives transactions and thus enhance transparency in the derivatives market.
Payment systems are facilities which clear and settle payment obligations. Payment systems require FINMA authorisation only if this is necessary for the proper functioning of the financial market or the protection of financial market participants and if the payment system is not operated by a bank (Art. 4 para. 2 FMIA).