FINMA launches investigations whenever it receives information about irregularities or violations of the law. This information typically comes from its supervisory activities, reports by other authorities in and outside Switzerland, and complaints from investors and clients. Investigations aim to establish whether enforcement proceedings are needed or whether the irregularity can be dealt with as part of normal supervision.
The decision to initiate enforcement proceedings against a licence holder, its ultimate management, owners or staff based on investigations is normally taken by FINMA Executive Board’s Enforcement Committee (ENA) or, in matters of substantial importance, FINMA’s Board of Directors. Depending on the outcome of the investigations, FINMA also decides whether to file a criminal complaint.