Frédérique Bensahel and Fabianne De Vos Burchart analyse proposed reforms to regulation of Swiss financial institutions
Under the influence of European regulatory initiatives, notably the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, Switzerland is remodelling regulation of its financial institutions. On 4 November 2015, the Swiss Federal Council issued a dispatch to parliament regarding two new pieces of legislation, the draft Financial Services Act (FinSA) and the draft Financial Institutions Act (FinIA), which are likely to enter into force in 2018 or 2019. They aim to create a level playing field between Swiss and European financial institutions. It is hoped this will reinforce the reputation and competitiveness of Switzerland’s financial centre, and enhance client protection. Following enactment of this legislation, independent asset managers and trustees, who currently carry out their activities unregulated (except regarding compliance with anti-money laundering legislation), will be subject to prudential regulation.