FINMA licensing

FINMA, the Swiss financial regulator, deals with the authorization of all companies that seek to conduct activity in the monitored financial sector. FINMA license issuance is a preventative control instrument with which the government defines the necessary level of regulation that FINMA must put into practice for all entities in the market. The license terms must be constantly satisfied by the license holders otherwise they can face a risk of having their licenses revoked.

FINMA license and its role in the authorization of financial companies

The licenses that the regulator issues entail the different levels of supervision. Many market participants fall under rigorous supervision after being licensed, while others are provided with once-off registration by the regulator for a range of activities that are not subject to monitoring. Hence, business owners should put emphasis on the type of license issued to a company and the degree of regulation applied to a company’s operation.

The regulator provides the following activities:

  • Licensing of financial and banking institutions and insurance firms that are then supervised.
  • Authorization of fund management firms, custodians, wealth managers of mutual funds, and agents of foreign funds that are then supervised.
  • Authorization of domestic mutual funds.
  • Authorization of foreign mutual funds that are provided in or from the country to non-qualified investing parties.
  • Recognition of SROs and granting licenses to the supervisory bodies.
  • Supervision of portfolio managers and trustee institutions.
  • Authorization of FMIs.
  • Authorization of the registration firms running the register of financial advisers.
  • FINMA’s activity does cover authorization or supervision of investment advisory institutions and pension funds.

If you are interested in getting more information about FINMA licensing, please contact our specialists.

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