To protect the integrity of the financial markets it is necessary to remove institutions operating without the required licence from the market straight away. In doing so, FINMA attempts where possible to consider the interests of investors and creditors, who are often victims of malpractice.
In accordance with Article 3 let. a FINMASA, persons and legal entities are subject to supervision by FINMA if the financial market legislation requires them to be licensed, recognised or registered by FINMA. If an institution operates without a licence despite the requirement, it is subject to supervision by FINMA in the same way as a comparable authorised institution.
FINMA orders the compulsory wind-down of an unauthorised institution. It can also place it into bankruptcy if there are justified concerns that at least one of the criteria for bankruptcy is met. The criteria for bankruptcy are over-indebtedness or illiquidity; one of the ways in which this can be confirmed is by drawing up a liquidation balance sheet. A recovery of the unauthorised institution is not considered apart from in exceptional cases.