Entry of Trustees into the World of Prudential Regulation

BSL – November 2019
Frédérique Bensahel

The new legislation on financial institutions (FinIA), expected to enter into force on 1st January 2020, will subject nearly 4,000 additional actors of the Swiss financial marketplace to authorisation and to prudential supervision. Three quarters of these actors are independent asset managers. The FinIA introduces a prudential oversight of trustees as well. The latter, being generally subject to the Anti-Money Laundering Act – like independent asset managers – are only rarely mentioned in Swiss legislation and case law. They are subject to a specific consideration in the FinIA and its ordinance, the Financial Institutions Ordinance (FinIO), and will have to seek authorisation from the FINMA in order to carry out or continue to carry out their activities on a professional basis. Once they receive authorisation, trustees will be subject to prudential obligations and supervision. While banks and securities houses (the new designation for securities dealers) are exempted from the obligation to obtain a specific trustee authorisation, all other actors, including independent asset managers and multi-family offices, will fall within the guidelines of this new scheme.