Author Archives: Benjamin Leisinger

Update on Client Adviser Registry and Ombudman’s Offices under the Financial Services Act

On 1 January 2020, the new Financial Services Act entered into effect. Certain of the transition periods are linked to the licensing of new institutions that perform relevant roles under the Financial Services Act. This article provides for an update on the current status and the end of the transition period.

By Benjamin Leisinger (Reference: CapLaw-2020-39)

Discontinuation of LIBOR and Swiss Law-Governed Legacy Bonds – Time to Take a Closer Look

LIBOR was – and still is – the dominant reference rate for CHF-denominated floating rate and other variable interest rate bonds. There is still a significant number of outstanding “legacy bonds” with such variable interest rates that have maturities beyond the end of 2021, the announced time for the discontinuation of LIBOR. This article discusses considerations for issuers and bondholder representatives in dealing with such “legacy bonds”.

By René Bösch / Eduard De Zordi / Benjamin Leisinger / Lee Saladino (Reference: CapLaw-2019-28)

SIX Published Criteria for Crypto Assets as Eligible Underlyings

On 10 September 2018, the SIX Exchange Regulation Ltd. published its revised Circular No. 3 that includes rules on the eligibility of certain crypto assets (crypto currencies) as underlyings of derivatives listed at SIX.

By Benjamin Leisinger (Reference: CapLaw-2018-42)

Basel III Implementation in Switzerland: Leverage Ratio and Liquidity

As of 1 January 2018, further elements of the Basel III international regulatory framework for banks on capital and liquidity entered into effect in Switzerland. Notably, the unweighted capital adequacy requirement (leverage ratio) was extended from systemically relevant banks to all banks by requiring a minimum core capital (Tier 1 capital) to total exposure ratio of 3%. As of the same date, the liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) requirement were adjusted to provide for certain simplifications, which will primarily benefit smaller financial institutions. The risk diversification requirements of Basel III measured against Tier 1 capital will enter into effect in Switzerland in 2019. The introduction of the net stable funding ratio (NSFR), which was originally planned for 1 January 2018, has been postponed.

By René Bösch / Benjamin Leisinger / Lee Saladino (Reference: CapLaw-2018-03)

The Financial Stability Board published its Guiding Principles on iTLAC

On 6 July 2017, the Financial Stability Board published its guiding principles on the loss-absorbing resources to be committed to subsidiaries or sub-groups that are located in host jurisdictions and deemed material for the resolution of a G-SIB as a whole (iTLAC). The guiding principles support the implementation of the iTLAC requirement in each host jurisdiction and provide guidance on the size and composition of the iTLAC requirement, cooperation and coordination between home and host authorities and the trigger mechanism for iTLAC.

By René Bösch / Benjamin Leisinger / Lee Saladino (Reference: CapLaw-2017-45)

Revisited Notification Duty for Voting Rights Delegated on a Discretionary Basis

Practical problems arising from the present notification duty for voting rights delegated on a discretionary basis caused FINMA to consult on a revision of this rule. If implemented, those persons who actually decide on how delegated voting rights are exercised will be subject to the notification duty and no longer the persons controlling either directly or indirectly a relevant legal entity to which voting rights were so delegated on a discretionary basis.

By Benjamin Leisinger (Reference: CapLaw-2016-45)

Swiss Federal Council Adopts Amendments to the Swiss TBTF Framework

On 11 May 2016, the Swiss Federal Council adopted an amendment to the Capital Adequacy Ordinance which sets out the new capital requirements for systemically important banks and introduces a new gone concern requirement for globally systemically important banks in line with G20 standards as promulgated by the Financial Stability Board. It further defines the required features for capital instruments qualifying for the gone concern requirement (so-called “Bail-in Bonds”) and sets out grandfathering provisions for outstanding instruments. The revised Capital Adequacy Ordinance came into effect on 1 July 2016, subject to phase-in and grandfathering provisions as described hereinafter.

By Daniel Hulmann / Stefan Kramer / Benjamin Leisinger (Reference: CapLaw-2016-25)

FINMA Introduces Technology-Neutral Regulation to Facilitate Client Onboarding Through Digital Channels

With effect from 18 March 2016, FINMA introduced a new circular on video and online identification and amended the circular regarding guidelines on asset management. These changes are a first step to develop technology-neutral regulation and to reduce potential hurdles to technological innovation in the Swiss financial sector.

By Katrin Ivell / Benjamin Leisinger (Reference: CapLaw-2016-21)

TLAC – The FSB Issues the Final Principles and Final Term Sheet

On 9 November 2015, the Financial Stability Board finalized its Principles on Loss-absorbing and Recapitalisation Capacity of G-SIBs in Resolution, including the Total Loss-absorbing Capacity (TLAC) Term Sheet. It introduces a new international standard for quantitative and qualitative requirements for external and internal TLAC as well as new disclosure requirements.

By René Bösch / Benjamin Leisinger (Reference: CapLaw-2015-58)

Revisions to the Draft Financial Services Act and Draft Financial Institutions Act by the Swiss Federal Council

Following a review of the consultation results on the draft Financial Services Act (FinSA) and the draft Financial Institutions Act (FinIA), the Swiss Federal Council decided that certain elements needed to be revised and the dispatch for submission to the Swiss Parliament be postponed until the end of 2015.

By René Bösch / Benjamin Leisinger (Reference: CapLaw-2015-33)