Liquidation, resolution and bankruptcy

FINMA can conduct resolution, bankruptcy and liquidation proceedings against individuals and institutions conducting activities that require authorisation by FINMA.
FINMA is responsible for initiating and conducting resolution and bankruptcy proceedings, as well as liquidations under the Swiss Code of Obligations against individuals and legal entities conducting activities that require authorisation under financial market laws. These autonomous proceedings are geared to the specific needs of the financial sector concerned (banks, insurers, unauthorised financial intermediaries, etc.).

Use of third parties

FINMA can employ liquidators, resolution agents and bankruptcy liquidators in these proceedings. It replaces cantonal courts in deciding on bankruptcy cases and also handles bankruptcy administration in a number of areas instead of cantonal offices and administrators.

Aims of resolution proceedings

In contrast to bankruptcy, resolution proceedings are intended to allow financial institutions at risk to maintain authorised activities or continue to provide certain services. Proceedings cannot be initiated if authorisation has already been withdrawn and unauthorised activities cannot be authorised even retroactively.

Protection in bankruptcy

Depositors benefit from special protection if a bank or securities dealer goes bankrupt: see Depositor protection for banks and securities dealers.

FINMA is also responsible for bankruptcy proceedings against insurers and collective investment schemes that cannot be resolved. These are essentially conducted on the basis of the principles set out in bank bankruptcy law. Policyholders and investors in collective investment schemes benefit from special protection:

Information for creditors

FINMA publishes notices about statutory liquidations wich it has concluded and supervised, resolution and bankruptcy proceedings on an ongoing basis.