National cooperation

The Financial Market Supervision Act requires FINMA to cooperate and coordinate with other Swiss authorities. It deals mainly, but not exclusively, with federal and cantonal prosecutors.
FINMA’s powers are limited to financial market supervision, which means that it can only act under administrative law. It does not have the power to prosecute criminal offences; this is the sole preserve of the federal and cantonal prosecutors. Nevertheless, there are areas in which supervisory and prosecution authorities need to cooperate and coordinate with each other.

Cooperation with prosecution authorities

Depending on the law involved, FINMA cooperates with the following authorities:

  • Office of the Attorney General (responsible for prosecuting crimes under the Stock Exchange Act)
  • Federal Department of Finance (FDF) (responsible for prosecuting crimes under the Financial Market Supervision Act and the financial market laws, with the exception of stock exchange crimes)
  • Cantonal prosecutors (responsible for prosecuting general crimes such as embezzlement, fraud and forgery under the Swiss Criminal Code).

This can involve forwarding files, providing information or supplying evidence. FINMA must also observe its legal duty to inform prosecuting authorities when it becomes aware of criminal activities. It can also refuse to cooperate, for example if doing so would be contrary to the aims of financial market supervision. For further information, please refer to FINMA's guidelines on mutual assistance provided to domestic prosecution authorities.

Other authorities

Besides prosecutors, FINMA also works together with other national authorities. The most important of these are the following:

  • Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland (MROS) 
  • State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
  • Swiss National Bank (SNB)
  • Federal Audit Oversight Authority (FAOA)
  • Swiss Takeover Board (TOB)

Cooperation and interaction are subject to financial market legislation and other laws specific to the individual authorities.