Self-Regulatory Organizations or SROs are Swiss financial organizations, supervised by FINMA. They are responsible for financial agents attached to them, including financial advisors. On the strength of their powers, SROs lay down rules and supervise financial middlemen. The key responsibility is to ensure that standards and legal requirements are duly followed by financial agents. Particular focus is given to the implementation of obligations established by the Swiss AML Act by SRO members.
To obtain an SRO membership, a financial advisor is required to submit a certificate of character, letters of reference, and a business plan of a represented company. Also, an applicant must have relevant education and in-depth experience in the financial sector. Subject to the SRO in question, applicants may have to meet extra criteria to fulfill.
Overall, there are 11 Swiss SROs listed with the financial regulator FIMNA: SAAM, VQF, PolyReg General SRO, ARIF, OAR-G, SRO-TREUHAND | SUISSE, SLV, SRO SAV/SNV, OAD FCT, SRO SBB, and Swiss Post Self-Regulating Organization.