Key Provisions of FINMA Basis for Asset Managers Activities in Switzerland

Registration of asset managing firm in this jurisdiction is a promising solution for foreign entrepreneurs. You can choose the most appropriate form of fund, based on planned volume of financial operations. FINMA started its activity more than 10 years ago, on January 1, 2009. The country’s parliament granted him a greater degree of independence than his/her three predecessors did. Plus, due to institutional, functional and financial independence, controlling representativemay effectively control country’s financial industry. It is worth taking into account that FINMA was established as an independent establishment of public law. Moreover, this institution is functionally independent of Swiss political authorities. Thus, neither the Swiss government nor the Swiss parliament can issue directives on how to carry out regulatory duties.

In general, obtaining an appropriate license for activities related to asset management within the jurisdiction of Switzerland is a rather complex and multifaceted process. Therefore, on the part of the entrepreneur, it would be more expedient to choose one of the Swiss asset management companies for sale, the presence of which will allow you to start a commercial path without any special effort.

Switzerland Demonstrated Licensing of Trust and Asset Managers from 2020

As of January 1, 2020, several acts came into force in Switzerland to implement a system of regulation of the asset management sector. Initial proposals to regulate this activity caused some concern. Many experts feared that the Swiss legislature did not understand the nature of such relations and would consider asset managers as an insignificant offshoot of financial environment.

Nevertheless, three years of lobbying led to significant progress: in the final version of the decisions, the Federal Council took into account the comments of the trade union community made during the consultations. Thus, there is an exemption from licensing for private firms and various types of family offices serving only one family.

What Will FINMA Pay Special Attention to When Checking a Candidate?

  1. Whether the firm has previously entered into or has an open relationship with foreign banking facilities of the custodial type.
  2. Does the organization use in its operations tools that, according to potential forecasts, may lead to a conflict of interest of any nature.
  3. Whether there is a foreign clientele in the list of firms.
  4. Whether structure receives or is entitled to obtain possible compensation from third persons in future.

In order to operate in the field of asset management, a firm must have a license such as “light banking”. Therefore, demands for this type of permissions can be given in the form of some following list.

  • Establish an entity within Switzerland (high-risk firms with revenues in excess of CHF 1.5 million must implement risk identification measures).
  • Apply for a permit.
  • Having a registered working place; the conduct of business activities must be located in jurisdiction frames.
  • Audit is carried out only by licensed FINMA auditors. Light entities are subject to simplified audit requirements; deposit insurance provisions are not enforced (customers must be informed).

In order to obtain permission, there must be 3 directors (who are partially autonomous from senior management), and firm should provide data on persons who have a 5% share or more of organization, and transactions that have impact on further development of asset management business.

Although this jurisdiction is not European Union member, it implies strict regimes when getting a payment systems license in Switzerland. Progressive legislative basis makes procedure of obtaining permits for asset management businesses flexible.


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