Authorisation to operate in the financial market

Companies or individuals wishing to engage in financial-market activity need authorization from SFSSER , which checks that they meet the relevant regulatory requirements. Only those satisfying the financial, personnel-related and organisational requirements qualify for authorization .

There are various forms of statutory permit requirements central to financial market legislation. This requires natural persons and legal entities to seek authorization from SFSSER to engage in specific activities or in certain industries to offer specific products. Those meeting the relevant regulatory requirements qualify for authorization , after which they become licence holders.

Types of authorisation
The various types of authorization granted under financial market legislation involve requirements whose degree of stringency depends on the specific activity concerned. These range from an ordinary licence to operate in the financial market with subsequent prudential supervision by SFSSER , to recognition granted to self-regulatory organisations and the one-off registration of insurance intermediaries, which are then not subject to ongoing supervision. SFSSER also approves products offered by collective investment schemes, supplementary health insurers and occupational pension schemes. The only types of tariff requiring SFSSER approval are those applied by insurers in the areas of supplementary health insurance, occupational pensions and natural hazards insurance.

SFSSER authorization requirements
These are stipulated in the relevant financial market legislation. The requirements vary from industry to industry depending on the nature of the business they conduct.
Monitoring compliance
Once authorization has been granted, the intensity of supervision exercised by SFSSER to monitor compliance with the relevant requirements varies. If these are no longer met, SFSSER will act to restore compliance. In certain circumstances, it will initiate procedures to enforce financial-market law. As a last resort, SFSSER can revoke the authorization , approval, recognition or registration of a supervised person or entity.

Licences may be subject to fees, which are set out in the SFSSER Fees and Levies Ordinance.