Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority

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SwitzerlandSwitzerland Swiss Financial
Market Supervisory Authority - FINMA -
legal form Institute of public right
Supervisory authority (s) Federal Assembly
Consist since January 1, 2009
Authority management Mark Branson (Director)
Employee 534 (2017)

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (abbreviated FINMA ; French Autorité fédérale de surveillance des marchés financiers , Italian Autorità federale di vigilanza sui mercati finanziari , Romansh car Ritad federala per la surveglianza dals martgads since finanzas ) supervises and monitors the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority all areas of finance, in particular banks , Insurance companies, stock exchanges, securities dealers as well as collective investment schemes and auditing companies.

The authority is an institution under public law with its own legal personality and its headquarters in Bern . Another location is in Zurich . It is institutionally, functionally and financially independent of the central federal administration and only administratively attached to the Federal Department of Finance . The Parliament has the ultimate supervision.

Thomas Bauer has been Chairman of the Board of Directors since January 2016 . Mark Branson has been the director since April 2014 .

Foundation and organization

The agency started its work on January 1, 2009. It emerged from the amalgamation of the Federal Banking Commission (SFBC) , the Federal Office for Private Insurance (FOPI) and the Control Agency for Combating Money Laundering (Kst GwG). Finma goes back to the Financial Market Supervision Act (FINMAG) passed by the federal councils on June 22, 2007. On October 15, 2008, the Federal Council issued the implementation decree.

The authority has organizational and budget autonomy. Its organs are the board of directors and the management, which is divided into four areas: banks, insurance companies, markets as well as strategic bases and central services.

Purpose and tasks

  • In accordance with the financial market laws, the authority pursues the purpose of protecting creditors, investors and insured persons ( investor protection ).
  • The authority authorizes the operation of the companies and organizations under its supervision and monitors them.
  • It is responsible for combating money laundering and, if necessary, handles restructuring procedures and bankruptcies.

Objectives of the financial market supervision

The authority has two main objectives and one secondary objective:

  • The first is to protect creditors, investors and insured parties (customer protection).
  • The second main objective is to protect the functionality of the financial markets. This functional protection includes the stability of the financial system, the functioning of the markets, trust in the financial system or the protection of the financial system against abuse by criminals.
  • By pursuing these goals, the supervisory authority is intended to help strengthen the reputation and competitiveness of the Swiss financial center.


In 2018, FINMA's gross income was 130.554 million Swiss francs. The effort cost FINMA be covered by fees and supervision fees of the supervised institutions that have to pay this. The fees are charged individually to each supervised entity. The supervisory duties, however, are allocated to the supervised persons as a group. The supervisory effort caused in each case is divided as appropriately and appropriately as possible across the various supervisory areas. With the supervisory fees, FINMA covers around 80 percent of operating expenses, including the statutory allocation to the reserves, around one fifth is covered by fee income.

FINMA invests around two thirds of its funds in its core tasks of licensing, monitoring, enforcement and regulation, 65 percent of which was spent on monitoring in 2018.

Regional currencies

Since June 2017, the focus has also increasingly been on regional currencies : imprisonment for up to three years, fines of up to CHF 500,000 and the dissolution of the cooperative are threatened as punishment if associations (e.g. social economy in Basel ) do not behave cooperatively .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. The organization of FINMA. Retrieved August 8, 2019 .
  2. Article 4 of the Financial Market Supervision Act (SR 956.1)
  3. FINMA - Where we work
  4. Hansueli Schöchli: The highest overseer of the Swiss financial center. In: November 14, 2016, accessed January 3, 2018 .
  5. FINMA launch is imminent, press release dated December 9, 2008.
  6. FINMA financing
  7. FINMA threatens regional currencies and voucher systems In: , February 28, 2018, accessed on March 23, 2018.