Reporting requirements for foreign activities

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

The requirement to report before establishing operations abroad ensures that Swiss banks and securities firms 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 (subsidiary, branch, representative office) or acquiring or divesting qualified participations in foreign companies.

The report must contain the following:

  • a business plan describing in particular the nature of the planned business and the organisational structure;
  • the name and address of the foreign business;
  • the names of those responsible for strategic and executive management;
  • details of the regulatory audit firm and the responsible foreign supervisory authority.

Reporting changes and / or closure of foreign operations

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

  • any significant change to their foreign operations;
  • any change in the regulatory audit firm or the supervisory authority;
  • the closure of the foreign operations.