The Supervision of Institutions and Products group at FINMA is responsible for supervising the abovementioned licence holders. The relevant statutory basis is provided by the Financial Institutions Act (FinIA) and the Collective Investment Schemes Act (CISA), the associated ordinances and FINMA circulars, and the recognised self-regulatory standards.
FINMA's supervisory system distinguishes between direct supervision, in which FINMA performs the supervisory activity itself, and indirect supervision, in which regulatory auditors are used to extend FINMA’s reach. In addition, FINMA can also collect data.
As part of its supervisory remit, FINMA monitors whether the following FinIA and CISA licence holders meet the relevant legal, contractual, statutory and regulatory requirements:
FINMA supervises portfolio managers and trustees in conjunction with supervisory organisations. Asset managers and trustees who are subject to consolidated supervision by FINMA are exempt from this.
FINMA monitors whether Swiss collective investment schemes comply with the specifications set out in their fund contract and prospectus. FINMA's assessment is based on an annual audit of the financial statements of the collective investment scheme by an audit firm with regard to compliance with the legal provisions, as well as the fund contract and prospectus. In addition to these audits, FINMA also conducts its own periodic case-related audits.
If investors suffer losses due to a breach of a contractual or statutory obligation, a claim for compensation can be asserted (Art. 145 CISA). This entitlement is of a contractual and not regulatory nature. Thus, FINMA cannot initiate proceedings and is not responsible for the civil law component of losses suffered by investors. However, within the scope of supervisory law and in cooperation with the auditors, FINMA ensures that the investor’s entitlement to information is upheld. Civil courts are ultimately responsible for assessing the facts of each case.
Essentially, these products are supervised by the responsible authority in their country of origin. Representatives of foreign collective investment schemes who are located in Switzerland and authorised by FINMA are responsible for complying with the statutory provisions governing these schemes.