Investor and creditor protection

Deposits held at licensed banks or securities firms, policyholders’ claims in the event of an insurance company’s insolvency, assets held in collective investment schemes as well as investments in Swiss Pfandbriefe enjoy legal protection and are subject to specific provisions. FINMA monitors compliance with these provisions and the implementation of any resulting measures.

Depositor protection at banks and securities firms

Depositor protection is designed to guarantee bank deposits in the event of the insolvency of licensed banks or securities firms. In Switzerland the protection is capped at a maximum of CHF 100,000 per depositor. Deposit protection at banks and securities firms ensures rapid disbursement.

Protection of policyholders

In its capacity as the supervisory authority for insurers, one of FINMA’s core tasks is protecting policyholders’ claims in the event of insolvency. Policyholders are protected by insurers’ provisions in the form of tied assets. This gives them a preferential status compared with other creditors.

Investor protection for collective investment schemes

Special provisions protect assets invested in collective investment schemes. If a fund management company goes bankrupt, fund assets are segregated from the bankruptcy proceedings and paid out to investors, who receive preferential treatment over other creditors.

Investor protection for Swiss Pfandbriefe

Investors in Swiss Pfandbriefe (covered bonds) enjoy the special protection offered by the mortgage bond institutions’ (Pfandbriefzentralen) chain of protective measures and other statutory provisions. This is effective both directly at the Pfandbrief institution level and indirectly in the event that a member bank is at risk of insolvency.