On March 13, the Swiss Council of States has published its overview of the Financial Services Act Bill (FIDLEG) and Financial Institutions Act bill (FINIG).
The FIDLEG introduces a series of new and more stringent requirements for financial services providers in Switzerland. All financial services providers will have to abide by a series of rules of conduct, aimed at introducing new standards of protection for customers in Switzerland.
Another notable requirement is that foreign financial services providers shall abide by the so-called “third country rules”: in other words, they will have to guarantee the same level of protection granted by Swiss financial services providers. Foreign providers will also have to obtain a license by the FINMA, the Swiss Financial Market Authority, before entering the Swiss market. The FIDLEG also introduces new rules to facilitate customers’ access to justice and additional prospectus requirements for public offering of securities in Switzerland.
The FINIG introduces a differentiated supervisory regime for portfolio managers, managers of collective assets, fund management companies and securities firms: they will have to be supervised by the FINMA or other supervisory authorities.
The consultation period on the FIDLEG and the FINIG bills was opened in 2014 but their adoption has been postponed.
The remarks of the Council of States can be summed up as follows:
It has to be said that these remarks are minor and that the Council of States substantially agrees with the draft bill proposed by the Federal Council: it can be expected that a final version of the FIDLEG and the FINIG will be finally approved during the summer session of the Parliament, between May and June 2018.