Rights and obligations of persons affected by an enforcement activity

In line with the general principles of constitutional and administrative law, FINMA must treat everyone affected by its enforcement activities fairly and justly.

FINMA explains the rights and obligations of the parties concerned at every stage of the enforcement proceedings. The rights and obligations of the parties and others involved in enforcement proceedings are set out in the Administrative Procedure Actand the relevant financial market laws.

The most important are as follows:

Informants

  • provide information to FINMA on misconduct or violations of financial market laws. They can outline the facts and provide evidence where appropriate in writing to Laupenstrasse 27, 3003 Bern, by e-mail to questions@finma.ch or directly via FINMA website.
  • Informants do not have the right to be kept informed and are not notified of the outcome.

Recipients of a FINMA questionnaire or other informal inquiry into suspected unauthorised activity

  • are legally obliged to provide full, truthful information backed up by documents.

Parties to proceedings

Enforcement proceedings can be initiated against a company or an individual. In the latter case, the individual is always notified in person.

Parties to proceedings

  • have the right to legal representation throughout the proceedings
  • have the right to be informed that proceedings have been initiated, what they concern and what measures may result
  • have the right to give their views on the evidence presented and the possible measures
  • have the right to inspect documents and request copies against payment by contacting the case administrator responsible
  • have the right to request evidence and to take part in hearings involving persons called to give evidence or witnesses
  • have the right to contest rulings against them before the Federal Administrative Court
  • do not have the right to a verbal hearing from FINMA, which decides on requests to this effect on a case-by-case basis
  • are obliged to provide FINMA with the information and documents it requests
  • are obliged to present themselves to FINMA when requested and to answer FINMA’s questions truthfully
  • are obliged to grant the investigating agent access to their premises and to disclose all information and documents the agent needs to perform his or her duties
  • are obliged to bear the cost of proceedings

Witnesses and persons called to give evidence

  • are obliged to appear and answer questions at FINMA’s request
  • witnesses have neither the right to inspect documents nor the right to legal representation as a third party in the proceedings
  • witnesses are entitled to compensation on request where there are sufficient grounds

Creditors of and parties affected by companies in liquidation or bankruptcy

  • are obliged to report their claims to FINMA, complete with evidence.

Guidelines