The new Swiss Financial Services Act (FinSA) and Financial Institutions Act (FinIA)

Their impact on independent asset management in Switzerland

Executive Summary

With both FinSA and FinIA expected to enter into force on 1 January 2020, the core regulations governing the historical business of fund managers and asset managers in Switzerland face only minor changes. However, the practical impact of FinSA on the industry may be substantial depending on each asset manager’s business model. What is clear across the board is that FinIA sets a new standard for the group of professionals known as independent asset managers (IAMs). A substantial reorganization will be required for them to meet the new licensing requirements. Despite the potential benefits afforded by a long transition period, existing IAMs would be well-advised to consider their transformation efforts early.

A short history of Swiss financial market regulation

Drafting of FinSA and FinIA began in 2014. In light of high-profile international cases of customer fraud, the financial crisis, and the pressure for tax normalization, the Swiss financial market had no choice but to react to a series of amended EU laws (EMIR, MiFID II, MiFIR, PRIIPs and the Prospectus Directive). The goal was two-fold: fostering investor protection and providing access to the EU financial market by establishing material equivalence in terms of regulatory framework. Accordingly, four landmark bills were introduced: one sought to improve the Financial Market Supervisory Act (FINMASA, defining the target groups for supervision by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA)), there was the Financial Market Infrastructure Act (FMIA, defining the infrastructure for payment systems and the stock exchange), and there were the two acts covered herein.

Performance magazine issue 28, January 2019

Performance is a triannual digest, dedicated to investment management professionals, which brings you the latest articles, news and market developments from Deloitte’s professionals and clients.

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