Enforcement proceedings against unauthorised financial market participants

FINMA conducts a large number of enforcement proceedings every year against financial market participants operating without authorisation, as well as their owners, ultimate management and staff. It informs the general public about these proceedings in line with its communication policy.

After concluding its informal investigations, FINMA decides whether to initiate enforcement proceedings.

Procedure for enforcement proceedings

  • FINMA informs the parties involved that proceedings have been initiated, stating the suspected violations of the law. From this point on, the rights and obligations of the parties under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) apply.
  • Extensive evidence is gathered, often by appointing an investigating agent.
  • When this stage is complete, the parties can state their views on the evidence, which in most cases is presented in the investigating agent’s report. They are normally also asked for their opinion on the measures FINMA intends to impose.
  • Based on the evidence and the responses to it, FINMA decides on the measures to be imposed on the company and individuals operating without authorisation, and issues a ruling to this effect.

Enforcement proceedings not normally made public

FINMA conducts enforcement proceedings against a large number of unauthorised companies and individuals every year. Generally, it does not publish details of individual proceedings unless there is a particular supervisory interest in doing so. It has issued a communication policy that expands on this point.