FINMA published 2019 Annual Report
2020-04-05 | News & Media

FINMA published 2019 Annual Report

Swiss Financial Market Authority FINMA has put out the 2019 Annual Report together with the 2019 Financial Statement. The Report gives an overview of FINMA's activities and developments during the last year.

FINMA's role at the Swiss financial market

In the foreword, Mark Branson (CEO) and Dr. Thomas Bauer(Chair) emphasise that in the present the stable and strong financial institutions in Switzerland are priority. They are important for safekeeping the whole financial system. Therefore, as the supervisory authority, FINMA plays a huge role in stabilising the financial market and protecting the interests of customers. FINMA follows risk-based approach in its supervisory practice and supports the aspiration of Switzerland becoming a high-tech and innovative financial center.

FINMA's risk-based approach

In 2019, FINMA focused on the most significant risks: the low interest rate environment, risk of cyber attacks, risks relating to Brexit and the transition from LIBOR, money laundering etc. The regulator initiated numerous of enforcement procedures against institutions breaching the law and financial market rules with particular focus on virtual assets.

The regulator addressed the issue of "too big to fail", stating that the emergency plans of the big banks are solid and effective. Still the coordinated work of the financial institutions and FINMA is required to guarantee that other systemically important banks have the effective plans in place.

Creation of a tech-friendly environment at the Swiss financial market

The managers also confirmed FINMA's positive attitude to the new technologies and aspiration to be a FinTech valley. This should, nevertheless, be supported by further clarifications, that address arising technical issues, as well as by creating effective tools for constant customer protection.

Within the innovation scope of 2019, the important role belonged to "stable coin" projects and introduction of FinTech license. The year was also a time for two blockchain institutions being authorized as banks and security dealers.

On the other hand, the particular focus of the enforcement procedures lies on the FinTech area. The violations of the financial market law led to the investigations of 60s ICOs. The number of other cases resulted in obligation of financial service providers to repay the unlawfully collected funds that were classified as bank deposits under Banking Act.

Transparency and independence of FINMA

In addition, FINMA has worked on a promotion of its independency and transparency, which was once again confirmed in the Ordinance to the Financial Market Supervision Act, adopted by Federal Council in 2019. The authority also worked closely with representatives from all areas of interests: financial market participants, civil society, experts, political actors and other authorities.

Earlier last week FINMA welcomed Federal Council's measures on the liquidity supply to the real economy and published new Guidance for banks regarding the temporary exemptions due to COVID-19 crises.

Source: https://www.finma.ch/en/news/2020/04/20200402-mm-finma-gb-2019/

Legal disclaimer. This article does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. The article should be used for informational purposes only.

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