First-time licensing of banks and securities firms

FINMA conducts licensing procedures for banks and securities firms. FINMA provides forms for this purpose on the survey and application platform (EHP). These show which information and documents are required.

Before submitting a licence application, the specific licensing project is presented to FINMA, cf. Assessment of licensing projects and preliminary enquiries.

For the submission of the licence application, applicants may be represented by specialised lawyers, consultants or recognised audit firms. However, this is not compulsory.

After receiving the application, FINMA will inform the applicant which FINMA staff member is responsible for the procedure and whether any additional information or documents need to be submitted.

FINMA ensures that fundamental obstacles to licensing are identified at an early stage. As soon as all the relevant information and documents have been submitted, FINMA examines them and decides whether a licence can be granted. The applicant has a duty to cooperate in completing the facts and proving that the requirements for granting a licence are met. The licence applied for shall be granted if all licence requirements are fulfilled beyond doubt or can be fulfilled.

The processing time depends on the licence type, the quality and complexity of the application and the dialogue with the applicants. In the case of applications involving foreign countries, the response time of the relevant foreign supervisory authorities must also be taken into account.