FinSA: New Registration Duty for Client Advisers

The Financial Services Act (FinSA), which is expected to enter into force on 1 January 2020, will introduce a new registration duty for client advisers of Swiss financial service providers not subject to prudential regulation and client advisers of foreign financial institutions. Today, no such registration requirement exists with the exception of similar obligations for untied insurance intermediaries, who have to register with the public register kept by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).

Under the new regime, client advisers will be required to register in a register maintained by one or more registration bodies licensed by FINMA. To register, they must evidence sufficient knowledge of the rules of conduct under the FinSA and the necessary expertise to perform their duties, adequate financial means as well as affiliate themselves to an ombudsman’s office. Clients may check the register at any time to verify that their adviser has the required qualifications. The registration will, however, not imply any prudential or ongoing supervision by FINMA. If a client adviser no longer meets the registration requirements, the adviser will be deleted from the register by the competent registration body and may, consequently, no longer engage in activities as a client adviser.

By Martin Peyer (Reference: CapLaw-2018-61)

FinSA Business Conduct Rules and MiFID II

The following article deals with the differences between the rules of conduct under MiFID II and FinSA. In the first part, the initial situation is described. Subsequently, the individual differences are discussed in more detail. The main differences in regulation can be found in the areas of client segmentation, definition of the service types, appropriateness and suitability test and dealing with retrocessions.

By Peter Sester / Dario Sutter (Reference: CapLaw-2018-62)

Funds Distribution under FinSA/FinIA: A change of paradigm

The introduction of the concept of an “offer” according to Art. 3 let. g FinSA as a replacement of the current notion of a “distribution” pursuant to Art. 3 CISA will lead to a number of consequences for the Swiss financial industry as well as for foreign financial services providers acting on a cross-border basis into Switzerland. The new concept is more flexible as the current notion of a “distribution”, but also raises a number of delicate questions which need to be clarified. The object of this article is to provide a first analysis of the salient features and challenges of the current and future regimes and their practical consequences with a specific focus on the placement of collective investment schemes in Switzerland.

By Diana Imbach / François Rayroux (Reference: CapLaw-2018-64)

Something Old, Something New: The Supervision of Financial Institutions under the Federal Act on Financial Institutions – FinIA Update

On 15 June 2018, the Federal Act on Financial Institutions was passed into law. The FinIA revises the regulatory architecture for financial institutions. Instead of the current sectorial approach, the FinIA proposes to introduce a regulatory pyramid with a light regulatory framework for asset manager and trustees, and an increasingly more stringent regime for managers of collective assets, securities firms – the new denomination for securities dealers – and, at the top, banks, although they will be continue to be governed by the Federal Act on Banks and Saving Banks of 8 November 1934 (Banking Act, SR 952.0) and remain out of scope of the FinIA. Furthermore, the FinIA introduces several new regulatory regimes: first of all, it subjects portfolio managers and trustees to prudential supervision. Second, it extends the current regime applicable to asset managers of collective investment schemes to asset managers of pension funds. Third, it recasts the existing regime applicable to securities dealers under the Federal Act on Stock Exchanges and Securities Dealing of 24 March 1995 (SESTA, SR 954.0) into a slightly modified new regime for securities firms. Fourth, it amends the Banking Act to introduce a new regulatory status for persons who hold public deposits of a total amount of less than CHF 100 million without engaging in commercial banking by lending the funds on (article 1b Banking Act). Finally, it also amends other regulations, including the Federal Act on Consumer Credits of 23 March 2001 (SR 221.214.1).

By Rashid Bahar (Reference: CapLaw-2018-64)

Supervision of Portfolio Managers and Trustees

Under current Swiss law, portfolio managers and trustees are not subject to a comprehensive prudential supervision, a situation that will change under the recently passed new Financial Institutions Act (FinIA). After the Swiss parliament passed the new legislation in June 2018, the Swiss Federal Department of Finance released its draft implementing ordinance (Draft-FinIO) for consultation. Under the new legislation, portfolio managers and trustees will have to apply for a license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and they will be subject to ongoing prudential supervision by new supervisory organizations. The FinIO specifies the license requirements for portfolio managers and trustees, taking into account the nature of these businesses and providing a certain amount of flexibility with respect to the requirements to be fulfilled by smaller businesses. While the new rules will come as a challenge for many of the existing portfolio managers and trustees, the FinIA and the FinIO also provide for transitional periods allowing these existing portfolio managers and trustees to transition gradually into the new regulatory regime.

By Patrick Schleiffer / Patrick Schärli (Reference: CapLaw-2018-65)

ARYZTA completed a rights offering in the amount of approximately CHF 900 million

On 19 November 2018, ARYZTA, a global food business with a leadership position in speciality bakery, completed a capital increase by way of a rights offering structured as a volume underwriting in the amount of approximately CHF 900 million.

Amun issues cryptocurrency-linked Exchange Traded Products

On 13 November 2018, Amun AG, a Zug-based special purpose issuance vehicle of the fintech group Amun, successfully registered its issuance program for the issuance of Exchange Traded Products (ETP) on the SIX Swiss Exchange.

Zur Rose Group completed a rights offering in the amount of approximately CHF 190 million

On 29 November 2018, Zur Rose Group AG, Europe’s largest online pharmacy and one of the leading medical wholesalers in Switzerland, completed its rights issue to support the financing of the medpex acquisition as well as other organic growth initiatives.

Finanz ’19

(Die 21. Finanzmesse für professionelle Anleger)

22-23 January 2019, Zurich

Seminar: 16th Zurich Stock Corporation Conference

(16. Zürcher Aktienrechtstagung)

5 March 2019, Zurich