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Regulatory Update to the Swiss Financial Services Act (FinSA) and Financial Institutions Act (FinIA)

Following the final vote in the Swiss parliament of the Swiss Financial Services Act (FinSA) and the Financial Institutions Act (FinIA) in June, the Federal Council released the draft ordinances for each of these Acts.

The ordinances are currently in a consultation period until February 2019, period during which various market players, such as the Swiss Banking Association and the Swiss Funds and Asset Management Association (SFAMA), will be providing feedback and comments for the finalization of these ordinances. The ordinances serve to give detail around the Acts and to enable better clarity and detail on the law.

The final ordinances as well as the FINMA directive are expected to be released in autumn 2019, with the entry into force of the full legislative package scheduled for January 2020. 

ACOLIN is involved in the SFAMA working group analyzing the ordinances and providing feedback to SFAMA in the best interest of its clients.

The new legislation will impact several of the ACOLIN services, such as:

  • Reduced need for the appointment of Swiss representative for marketing activities towards qualified investors.
  • The requirements remain in place for approaching HNWI and family offices without professional treasury.
  • Distribution disappears as a definition, replaced by an offering of financial services, thereby providing a broader definition to include other financial instruments than funds.
  • Foreign providers of financial services will need to register, individually, on still-to-be-established client advisor registries. Throughout 2019 more details will emerge regarding these registers of advisers and will allow ACOLIN to keep you informed.
  • Client segmentation will change, aiming for a MiFID II alignment, categorizing clients into institutional, professional and retail. This will impact, through the requirements imposed on providers of financial services, the code of conduct applied to approaching various client categories.
  • Foreign funds needing FINMA approval for public distribution will be able to provide the standard fund documentation in English, apart from the key information document for Switzerland which will still need to be in one of the three Swiss languages.

ACOLIN will keep you informed of any evolution of the Swiss regulatory landscape as soon as available and allow you to be in full compliance of relevant laws and regulations at all times.



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