Category Archives: FinSA (FIDLEG)

FinTech Regulation (2.0): An Overview on the Proposed Three Element Solution

More regulation and digitization are two important trends that are currently reshaping the financial industry in Switzerland. In this context, the Swiss Federal Council has proposed the creation of a specific new FinTech regulation that shall be particularly relevant for business models in the overlapping areas of these two topics and has mandated the Federal Department of Finance (FDF) to develop a consultation draft that further specifies the “Three Element Approach” of the Swiss Federal Council. On 1 February 2017, the FDF published its related Explanatory Report on the Amendment of the BA and BO (FinTech). This article contains a short overview of the key parameters of the proposed new Swiss FinTech regulation and a first view on the Explanatory Report.

By Luca Bianchi (Reference: CapLaw-2017-02)

Liberalization of the Point of Sale– Amendments to the FIDLEG Bill’s Point of Sale Duties Proposed by the Council of States

After having been discussed throughout 2016 in various sessions of the Economic Affairs and Taxation Committee of the Swiss Federal Council of States (WAK-S), on 14 December 2016 the new Federal Financial Services Act (Finanzdienstleistungsgesetz; FIDLEG) was finally resolved on by the Federal Council of States (SR). Compared to the bill of the Federal Council (the Swiss government), the SR resolved on a number of amendments that will, in certain areas, substantially liberalize the proposed regulatory regime to be complied with at the point of sale. Starting this year, the bill is now before the other chamber of Swiss parliament, the Swiss National Council (NR), and it will be interesting to see to what degree the NR will follow the SR’s approach. The enactment of the bill is still anticipated at the earliest in 2018. The present article focuses on important amendments to the FIDLEG bill as suggested by the SR.

By Sandro Abegglen / Luca Bianchi / Edi Bollinger (Reference: CapLaw-2017-03)

Update on the Key Information Document Requirement

In CapLaw-2016-5, Enrico Friz outlined in detail the new duty of manufacturers of financial instruments to produce a key information document (KID, Basisinformationsblatt) for all financial instruments. This duty shall be implemented by the Financial Services Act (FinSA) which will likely be set into force during the course of 2018 and is currently being debated in the Swiss Parliament. The Council of States has, with rather minor amendments, approved the draft FinSA produced by the Federal Council in December 2016. The National Council will discuss the FinSA in one of its upcoming sessions. This contribution summarizes the changes to the FinSA in respect to the KID proposed by the Council of States compared to the Federal Council’s draft FinSA outlined in CapLaw-2016-5.

By Thomas Müller (Reference: CapLaw-2017-04)

The Enforcement of Clients’ Rights in the Draft Financial Services Act (FinSA) – Update

By Thomas Werlen / Matthias Portmann / Jonas Hertner (Reference: CapLaw-2017-05)

This article is an update of CapLaw-2016-4 in which the Dispatch on the draft Financial Services Act (FinSA) was discussed with a focus on Title 5 aimed to facilitate the enforcement of the rights of clients vis-à-vis Financial Services Providers (FSP). On 4 November 2015, the Swiss Federal Council adopted the Dispatch on the draft FinSA, sending it to parliament for consideration. With regard to the enforcement of rights, the draft proposed three elements: (1) a stricter disclosure obligation of FSP to provide documentation to clients, (2) an obligation of FSP to become affiliated with a certified ombuds body, and (3) new rules governing the allocation of costs in financial market litigation. In comparison with the original bill proposed by the Federal Council, the proposed provisions on the enforcement of rights in the draft FinSA were significantly curtailed after an overwhelmingly negative response from the financial services industry in the consultation proceeding. On 14 December 2016 the draft FinSA was discussed in the Council of States. The Council of States largely followed the draft as proposed by the Federal Council. Most recently, on 25 January 2017, the National Council’s Economic Affairs and Taxation Committee has entered into the debate on the draft FinSA. The Committee will discuss the draft in detail at its meeting on 20/21 February 2017. This will be followed by a debate in the National Council which will likely take place in Spring 2017. The proposed changes by the Council of States related to the enforcement of clients’ rights are discussed below.

The Proposed New Swiss Prospectus Regime – A First Analysis

On 4 November 2015, the Swiss Federal Council adopted the draft Financial Services Act and submitted it to the Swiss Parliament. If enacted as proposed, it will impose new requirements on financial services providers and will introduce a new Swiss prospectus regime. Modeled largely after the EU prospectus framework, the new prospectus regime will be a veritable paradigm change to Swiss capital market regulation, introducing a number of novelties for issuers of securities in the Swiss market, such as the requirement for an ex ante approval for most financial instruments, coupled with some important long-awaited explicit exemptions from such requirement and the requirement for a prospectus for secondary public offerings.

By Christian Rehm / René Bösch (Reference: CapLaw-2016-1)

The Reviewing Body – a New Element in the Prospectus Law according to the Federal Financial Services Act (FinSA)

The Draft Federal Financial Services Act (FinSA) provides for uniform rules for the requirement to publish a prospectus for all public securities offerings and for the admission of securities to trading on a trading venue. A central element of the new regulations is the requirement for a mandatory check of the prospectus by a reviewing body (Prüfstelle), prior to the publication of the prospectus.

This article discusses the new prospectus requirements according to the FinSA and introduces the reviewing body as a new element of the listing procedure. Further, the possible impact of these new regulations on the listing process will be illustrated and some initial conclusions drawn.

By Rodolfo Straub / Therese Grunder / Regina Tschopp (Reference: CapLaw-2016-2)

Regulation of the Point of Sale – An Update on the Rules of Conduct of Financial Services Providers under the proposed FIDLEG

On 4 November 2015 the Swiss Federal Council has published the Message (Botschaft) on the Financial Services Act (Finanzdienstleistungsgesetz, FIDLEG). In the industry, it has been expected with great excitement and interest, as it will have a major impact, inter alia, on how financial services and products may be offered and sold to clients. Also, the FIDLEG, together with the new Financial Institutions Act (Finanzinstitutsgesetz, FINIG), will define how equivalent the relevant Swiss regulation will be when compared with, in particular, EU regulation. This article aims to provide a short overview on the core content of the FIDLEG, namely, the conduct duties to be complied with at the point of sale.

By Sandro Abegglen / Luca Bianchi (Reference: CapLaw-2016-3)

Draft Financial Services Act to Expand Clients’ Enforcement Rights vis-à-vis Financial Services Providers, Leaves Key Questions Unaddressed

While the draft Financial Services Act (FinSA) primarily has a regulatory purpose, it also contains provisions set to effect the private law relationship between providers of financial services and clients. The proposed measures include a claimant-friendly rule regarding the allocation of costs in litigation proceedings, stricter requirements for financial services providers regarding documentation, information and disclosure of documents for the purpose of enforcement of clients’ rights, and a quasi-mandatory ombuds system for all disputes arising out of financial services contracts, including loan contracts, insurance contracts and all normal retail client bank relationships.

By Thomas Werlen / Jonas Hertner (Reference: CapLaw-2016-4)

A Key Information Document Helps to Turn Retail Clients into Mature Investors

On 4 November 2015 the Swiss government published the dispatch on the Financial Services Act (FinSA). In line with international standards, the FinSA will introduce an obligation for financial service providers to make a key information document available to retail clients, when offering them financial instruments. According to the dispatch, the aim of the proposed information document is to provide to retail clients “the information which are required, to treat them as “mature” investors, capable of taking responsibility for their own investment decisions”.

By Enrico Friz (Reference: CapLaw-2016-5)

FinSA Business Conduct Rules and MiFID II

European legislation as well as other international standards increasingly influence Swiss financial market regulation; the new Financial Services Act (FinSA) is the direct consequence. As expected, the Swiss legislator tailored the new business conduct rules towards the EU directive. The remaining questions, however, lie in the interpretation, application, and development of the new provisions by the regulatory authorities and courts.

By Peter Sester / Linus Zweifel (Reference: CapLaw-2016-6)