After concluding informal investigations, FINMA decides whether to initiate enforcement proceedings.
FINMA informs the parties involved that proceedings have been initiated, stating the suspected violations of the law. From this point on, the rights and obligations of the parties under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) apply.
More detailed evidence is then gathered by requesting further documents, employing an investigating agent and/or conducting on-site supervisory reviews and interviews.
When this stage is complete, the parties can state their views on the evidence. They are normally asked for their opinion on FINMA’s intended measures.
Enforcement forwards the outcome of the evidence and the responses, together with a draft ruling, to the Enforcement Committee (ENA). The ENA decides on the measures to be ordered against the licence holders or the relevant members of ultimate management, owners and staff, or it decides to discontinue proceedings.
FINMA conducts a large number of enforcement proceedings every year against licence holders and – mostly subsequent to these – their ultimate management, owners and staff. As a rule, it does not inform the public of individual enforcement proceedings unless there is a particular supervisory interest in doing so. It has issued a communication policy for this purpose. FINMA also publishes an annual enforcement report that provides in-depth insight into its enforcement practice using anonymised case studies.