Institutions > Stock exchanges and markets print

Stock exchanges and markets

The Swiss system of stock exchange and market supervision is based on the principle of self-regulation. FINMA is charged with the overall supervision of stock exchanges and markets.

With the entry into force of the Stock Exchange Act and the Stock Exchange Ordinance on 1 February 1997, supervision of stock exchanges and markets was standardized at federal level, and stock exchanges and securities dealers were henceforth subject to licensing requirements and supervision. The aim of stock exchange legislation is to ensure transparency and equality of treatment for investors and to create the framework for functioning securities markets.

The Stock Exchange Act is designed to be a framework law offering a high degree of flexibility, with supervisory functions in various areas delegated to self-regulatory organizations which are ultimately subject to supervision by FINMA. For example, the approval and monitoring process is largely carried out by the licensed stock exchanges. Supervision can also extend to institutions similar to stock exchanges.

A Swiss stock exchange requires an operating license from FINMA (guidelines).The stock exchanges are responsible for ensuring that an appropriate operating, administrative and monitoring organization is in place. The regulations implementing this organisation must be submitted to FINMA for approval. Together with the monitoring organisations of the stock exchanges, which are responsible for primary monitoring of the market, FINMA ensures that cases of market abuse (e.g. insider trading or market manipulation) are identified and that suspicious activities are investigated and, where necessary, pursued by FINMA (market supervision).

The regulations differentiate between domestic and foreign stock exchanges. Foreign stock exchanges without a registered office in Switzerland must be recognized by FINMA before allowing Swiss securities dealers to trade on them (guidelines). Conversely, foreign stock exchange participants which do not have a registered office in Switzerland also require FINMA approval in order to operate on a Swiss stock exchange (guidelines). If, however, they do have a branch or registered office in Switzerland, they may require a securities trading licence.

Operators of payment and securities settlement systems can be licensed by FINMA as banks. This applies in particular to the operators of Central Counterparties [CCPs]) and central domestic depositories for Swiss securities.

Domestic stock exchanges or exchange-like trading venues
Guidelines on submitting applications for authorisation
Declaration of pending and closed proceedings
Declaration of qualified participations
Declaration of other mandates

Foreign stock exchanges
Guidelines on submitting applications for authorisation

Foreign stock exchange members (remote members)
Guidelines on submitting applications for authorisation