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Risk Monitor 2023: current risks in the financial sector

13 November 2023 | Legal Alerts
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) releases its 2023 Risk Monitor. Nine significant threats to the financial sector are identified in the report. FINMA has highlighted two additional risks compared to the previous year: finance and liquidity concerns and business activity outsourcing risks.

The report highlights the focus of FINMA's supervisory operations and gives an overview of the significant risks supervised institutions face. This reporting increases openness regarding how FINMA carries out its mandated duties for supervised institutions and the general public.

Sensitive macroeconomic environment

Numerous major risks that have been identified are based on various macroeconomic uncertainties. These are caused by persistent regional and geopolitical tensions and reduced economic growth due to high inflation, growing interest rates, and rising energy costs. Furthermore, the collapse of various American regional banks in mid-March 2023 and the uncertainty surrounding Credit Suisse led to banking sector stress globally.

Two new principal risks

At the moment, FINMA has identified nine primary risks for the whole financial sector, all based on macroeconomic analysis. Seven risks remain the same as in the previous year: interest rate risks, credit risks associated with mortgages, credit risks associated with other loans, credit spread risks, risks of cyberattacks, threats in combating money laundering, and risks due to increased impediments to cross-border market access.
The risks related to funding, liquidity, and outsourcing business operations are now included in the Risk Monitor because they are deemed more significant than the previous year. FINMA will continue to concentrate its supervisory efforts on the unique risks resulting from the combination of the two large banks, regardless of the primary risks that have been identified.

Artificial intelligence in the Swiss financial market

Additionally, every Risk Monitor investigates a trend that could have long-term effects on the Swiss financial market. FINMA considers using artificial intelligence (AI) a trend because of its growing significance in numerous spheres of life. The accountability for AI decisions, the dependability of AI applications, the transparency and explicability of AI decisions, and the equitable treatment of clients in the financial markets present unique challenges.

FINMA expects supervisory institutions to react suitably to the associated risks. Following the risk-based approach and the proportionality principle, FINMA will investigate how AI is used by institutions under supervision. It will also continue to monitor developments in artificial intelligence in the financial industry, remain in discussions with relevant stakeholders, and stay abreast of international developments.
To sum it up, the 2023 Risk Monitor by FINMA highlights nine critical risks in the financial sector, including emerging finance and liquidity concerns and growing AI-related challenges. In the coming year, FINMA will maintain its commitment to supervising and mitigating these identified risks, particularly those arising from the combination of large banks. FINMA emphasizes responsible AI adoption and will continue its vigilant supervision of these risks while staying attuned to international developments. The 2023 Risk Monitor is a vital tool for both supervised institutions and the general public, providing valuable insights into the evolving landscape of risks in the financial sector and the regulatory actions to mitigate them.

1. https://www.finma.ch/en/news/2023/11/20231109-mm-finma-risikomonitor-2023/
2. https://www.finma.ch/en/


This legal alert provides a general overview of the topic and should not be considered legal advice. Legal situations may vary, and businesses should consult with legal professionals to address their specific concerns.
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