Swiss-domiciled group companies of banks, insurance companies and financial market infrastructures which carry out significant functions for activities requiring authorisation are referred to as “significant group companies”. They are subject to specific provisions set out in banking and insurance legislation, as well as laws governing financial market infrastructures, in the event of restructuring or bankruptcy.
The significant functions carried out by significant group companies include the following areas (non-exhaustive):
|Banks and financial market infrastructures||Insurance companies|
|Liquidity management||Holding company function|
|Risk management||Existing policy management|
|Master data management||Claims settlement|
|Trading and settlement||Investments|
|Legal and compliance||...|
If protective measures must be imposed on a licence holder of a financial or insurance group facing the risk of insolvency or serious liquidity problems, or where restructuring or bankruptcy proceedings have to be initiated, FINMA can apply its statutory competencies to the licence holder’s significant group companies as well. To the extent provided for under financial market law, FINMA has sole responsibility for imposing such measures. FINMA's unitary recovery and resolution remit – covering licence holders and significant group companies – aims for the coordinated restructuring or resolution of supervised companies, making them more resilient in the event of a crisis.
The points explained above regarding significant group companies also apply analogously to the group parent companies of banks and financial market infrastructure. They are subject by law to FINMA’s resolution remit (Article 2bis para. 1 let. a BA, Article 3 para. 1 let. a FMIA) and do not have to be identified by name. In the insurance sector, FINMA must identify all significant group companies and conglomerates (including group parent companies) by name.
FINMA identifies and publishes significant group companies by name as follows:
FINMA reserves the right to identify and publish other significant group companies at any time.
Under their general information and reporting requirements, supervised institutions must report to FINMA the outsourcing of significant functions to group companies (for insurance companies the outsourcing of significant functions is even part of the business plan requiring approval under Art. 4 para. 2 let j. ISA). This also applies to any changes made to these arrangements.