The registration body must be licensed by FINMA before it can begin operations. FINMA may license several registration bodies, each of which manages one adviser register. A registration body must be organised in such a way that it can perform its tasks independently. The persons responsible for the management of the registration body must provide the guarantee of irreproachable business conduct, enjoy a good reputation and hold the necessary specialist qualifications. If more than one registration body is authorised, they must coordinate their practice.
The registration body manages the adviser register and decides which client advisers to add to and delete from the register. Client advisers entered in the register must notify the registration body immediately of any changes in facts since registration..
Client advisers of Swiss financial service providers which are not subject to prudential supervision in Switzerland must sign up to an adviser register to carry out their activities. Financial service providers may also be individuals who offer financial services in Switzerland or to clients in Switzerland on a commercial basis. Client advisers of foreign financial service providers also have to sign up to a Swiss adviser register provided that the financial service provider is not subject to prudential supervision in its country of origin, or if the services are also offered to individuals in Switzerland.
Client advisers of foreign financial service providers must also be entered in a Swiss register of advisers if they offer services in Switzerland. By way of exception, foreign financial service providers who are subject to prudential supervision abroad do not need to have their advisers entered in a register if the service is only provided to professional and institutional clients. Entry in the register of advisers is necessary, however, if foreign financial service providers who are subject to prudential supervision abroad also provide financial services to private clients in Switzerland. Private clients also include wealthy private clients who have declared that they wish to be treated as professional clients pursuant to Article 5 para. 1 FinSA.
Since 1 August 2021, Swiss representative offices of foreign banks and foreign financial institutions must also enter their client advisers in a Swiss register of advisers if they intend to offer their financial services in Switzerland to private clients (Art. 7b BO and Art. 82 para. 1 FinIO). Here too, private clients also include wealthy private clients who have declared that they wish to be treated as professional clients pursuant to Article 5 para. 1 FinSA.
The registration body must notify FINMA in advance of any changes, such as a change to a member of ultimate management or changes to the organisational basis. However, they do not require approval from FINMA.
FINMA does not monitor the registration body on an ongoing basis. However, if FINMA becomes aware that the registration body no longer fulfils the requirements and is not managing the adviser register properly, FINMA will instruct the registration body to take the necessary steps to correct the deficiencies. If the registration body is unable to correct the deficiencies within an appropriate period, FINMA may revoke authorisation as a registration body.
The first registration body was authorised by FINMA on the 20th of July 2020.