Supervision of directly subordinated financial intermediaries

In its supervision of directly subordinated financial intermediaries (DSFIs), FINMA verifies that they meet the licence conditions at all times and comply with their statutory duty to combat money laundering. The supervisory approach is risk-oriented. FINMA will continue to supervise directly subordinated financial intermediaries until the Financial Institutions Act (FinIA) comes into force.

In the context of supervising DSFIs, FINMA ensures that they meet the licence conditions at all times and comply with their obligations under the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) and the FINMA Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance (AMLO-FINMA). FINMA does not monitor their activities as financial intermediaries, the services they offer or the quality of such services, or their financial circumstances.

The adoption of the FinIA and the associated amendments to the AMLA will result in fundamental changes in the supervision of existing directly subordinated financial intermediaries under Art. 2 para. 3 AMLA (DSFIs). The DSFI status will be abolished. FINMA's supervisory activities vis-à-vis DUFIs will come to an end when the FinIA comes into force. The FinIA is expected to come into force on 1 January 2020.

Risk categorisation and rating

FINMA's supervision of directly subordinated financial intermediaries is based on standard monitoring, which consists of an annual AMLA audit conducted by an audit firm. FINMA assigns a risk category and rating to each DSFI on the basis of the AMLA audit report. The category and rating determine which supervisory tools are used.

Supervisory tools

Supervisory tools used by FINMA in the context of DSFIs include bilateral supervisory consultations, additional audits and on-site supervisory reviews.

Information and reporting requirements

Under Article 29 of the Financial Market Supervisory Act (FINMASA; SR 956.1), supervised institutions, their regulatory and statutory audit companies as well as persons or companies that are qualified investors or that have a substantial participation in the supervised institutions must provide FINMA with all the information and documentation it requires to carry out its tasks. Furthermore, supervised institutions must also immediately report to FINMA any incident that is of substantial importance to supervision. This includes, for example, personnel changes on the board of directors or executive board, changing audit firms, changes of address, or the opening of criminal or administrative proceedings.