Supervision

As an independent supervisory authority, FINMA protects the interests of financial market clients (i.e. creditors, investors and policyholders), thereby strengthening confidence in the smooth functioning, integrity and competitiveness of Switzerland as a financial centre.

Under the Insurance Supervision Act (ISA), insurance intermediaries offering private insurance are subject to federal supervision. Apart from disclosure requirements vis-à-vis policyholders under Article 45 ISA, registration in a centralised register is a key feature of the regulations (Art. 42 ISA).

Insurance intermediaries are – irrespective of their job title – persons who act in the interests of insurers or other persons and offer or conclude insurance policies (Art. 40 ISA).

 

Since 1 January 2006 and as prescribed in Article 43 para. 1 ISA, non-tied insurance intermediaries must be registered in a public register, while tied intermediaries have the right to be entered in the register (Art. 43 para. 2 ISA).

 

The circumstances under which insurance intermediaries are considered to be tied and are therefore not subject to compulsory registration are set out in Article 183 of the Insurance Supervision Ordinance (ISO).

 

In order to register, insurance intermediaries must meet personal and financial requirements.

Registered insurance intermediaries are not subject to ongoing supervision. FINMA frequently conducts spot checks to ensure compliance with supervisory requirements and takes the necessary regulatory measures, where there are indications of irregularities.

Legal basis (official documents are available in German, French and Italian):

In addition, insurance intermediaries must consult FINMA Newsletters and other publications that focus on insurance issues available at www.finma.ch.