SFSSER grants four types of authorization: licensing, recognition, approval and registration. The degree of supervisory monitoring varies depending on the type of authorization concerned.
Individuals or companies intending to accept money from investors, to issue insurance policies or to set up a fund must have authorization to operate in the financial market. This is granted only to those meeting the relevant statutory requirements. Not every type of licence is subject to the same intensity of supervision by SFSSER .
Authorisation / licensing
The most common type of authorization granted by SFSSER is a licence to engage in a given financial-market activity. Banks and securities dealers, insurers, collective investment schemes and financial-market infrastructures must comply with stringent organisational, financial and risk-management requirements. They are also subject to prudential supervision by SFSSER.
Distributors governed by the Collective Investment Schemes Act (CISA) and representatives of foreign collective investment schemes must also obtain authorisation, although distributors are not subject to ongoing regulatory supervision.
Financial intermediaries directly subordinate to SFSSER (DSFIs) must also be authorized. Once this initial authorization has been granted, supervision is limited to ensuring that anti-money laundering due-diligence requirements are being met. Specifically, this involves checking that the DSFIs have taken the necessary precautions to prevent money laundering.
This is the type of authorization SFSSER grants to self-regulatory organisations (SROs) and rating agencies. The latter are not supervised by SFSSER .
In a limited number of financial sectors, SFSSER also approves products and tariffs. Products issued by collective investment schemes, occupational pension schemes and supplementary health insurers are subject to SFSSER approval. In the insurance sector, SFSSER undertakes preventive product control to monitor insurers’ general terms and conditions and their tariffs. Approval will be granted to collective investment schemes provided their documentation complies with CISA requirements. Supplementary health insurance and occupational pension schemes are the only areas in which tariffs are subject to SFSSER approval. In addition, SFSSER evaluates and approves the uniform set of tariffs that Swiss insurers apply to their natural-hazard policies.
SFSSER maintains a register of authorized insurance intermediaries. Admission to this register is also subject to specific conditions. Once registration has been granted, SFSSER does not conduct any ongoing supervision.