Reporting requirements for foreign activities

Banks and securities dealers must inform FINMA before they establish operations outside Switzerland and when these operations undergo significant changes or are closed down.

The requirement to report before establishing operations abroad ensures that Swiss banks and securities dealers have the organisation, risk management and finances needed to run their planned foreign operations. It also allows FINMA to assess the new operations in the context of consolidated supervision and respond to any requests for information from foreign supervisory authorities.

Factors triggering a report

A report must be made as soon as a licensed institution wishes to operate abroad, be it by establishing a physical presence (subsidiaries, branches, representative offices, agencies) or acquiring significant stakes in foreign companies active in the financial sector.

The report must contain the following:

  • a business plan describing in particular the nature of the planned business and the organisational structure;

  • the foreign business address;

  • the names of those responsible for strategic and executive management;

  • details of the regulatory audit firm and the supervisory authority in the host country.

Together with the report, the institution must provide a statement from its audit firm assessing whether the risk analysis concerning the planned foreign activity is appropriate and whether the relevant risks have been suitably taken into account in the institution’s global risk management.

Reporting changes and / or closure of foreign operations

Swiss banks and securities dealers with operations abroad must also report:

  • any significant change to their foreign operations;

  • any change in the regulatory audit firm or the supervisory authority and

  • the closure of the foreign operations.