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Banks / Securities Firms (BEF)

This department is responsible for the on-going monitoring of banks and securities dealers licensed by the SFBC. In addition, notifications and inquiries of the supervised institutions are processed. Furthermore, questions of interpretation and of principle which are of importance for the supervision of licensed institutions are processed by this department.

Each year, a Banking- or Stock-Exchange-Law audit report is prepared for each supervised institution by an auditing firm which is authorised by the SFBC. This report constitutes an important working tool and is analysed extensively in order to assess whether a bank or securities dealer has complied with the provisions of the Law and its business rules and whether it possesses a well-functioning internal organisation which guarantees the on-going compliance with the licensing requirements. In addition, the financial condition of each individual institution or individual group, in terms of capital adequacy, risk and profitability, is investigated. In the event that violations of legal prescriptions occur, measures designed to restore an orderly state of affairs are ordered.

A further task of this department consists of the validation and on-going monitoring of risk-measurement models which may be employed by banks and securities dealers to compute the capital requirements to support market risks.

In fulfilling its duties, the department is naturally in close contact with auditing firms which are authorised by the SFBC. It is dependent on timely reporting and notification by them of particular occurrences. As a result of their important duties within the Swiss system of supervision, the auditing firms, on the one hand, and their leading bank auditors responsible for the individual banks and securities dealers, on the other, have to meet certain conditions prior to obtaining authorisation, compliance with which is also monitored by this department.

In view of the large number of foreign-controlled banks and securities dealers in Switzerland on the one hand as well as the significant activities of the swiss banks abroad on the other hand, the department co-operates closely with foreign supervisory authorities. The information which is exchanged is integrated into the on-going monitoring process and serves to provide a total picture over institutions and groups active domestically and abroad. Such contacts also constitute a further opportunity of obtaining knowledge of approaches to regulation applied abroad and evaluating whether these should possibly be implemented in Switzerland.

The licensing section of the Banks / Securities Firms department conducts all proceedings in connection with the granting of licenses for banks and securities dealers. This involves in particular providing advice to the founding shareholders of banks and securities dealers as well as carrying out the related proceedings for the granting of licenses. Subsequent to the granting of a license, the department is responsible for reviewing and approving all changes to the licensing requirements, these include changes to the organisation, the structure, capital or the statutes (by-laws), also included here are changes in shareholder of the relevant institute. In addition, notifications regarding qualifying shareholdings in banks and securities dealers are received and processed. Furthermore, the department researches issues related to reciprocity requirements and deals with notifications regarding foreign activities. As regards proceedings in connection with domestic and foreign license applications, the department works together with foreign supervisory authorities. Finally, this department conducts proceedings in connection with the voluntary release from banking and securities trading supervision, for example in the case of mergers or liquidations.

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