Authorisation – gaining entry to the financial market

Many financial services in the Swiss market require authorisation, which in most cases, is granted by FINMA.

Any individual or company seeking to manage clients’ money or take money from investors, underwrite insurance policies, or set up and manage a collective investment scheme requires authorisation from FINMA. Only where statutory requirements have been met are licences issued.

Authorised companies are then supervised. FINMA supervision varies in intensity. Depending on the legal provisions, it can range from intensive, ongoing supervision to a simple act of registration, after which FINMA will only step in if it receives reports of inappropriate conduct. Under certain circumstances, service providers must join a private self-regulatory organisation instead. 


To check whether an individual, a company or a financial product has been authorised, you can search for the name here. If you are searching for an insurance intermediary, then the register for insurance intermediaries is available to you.

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FINMA keeps lists of all authorised institutions and investment funds as well as all registered insurance intermediaries. These are regularly updated. A supervised institution may have been authorised but not yet be included in the list. Similarly, a supervised institution may still feature on the list even though it has lost its authorisation.

Authorised banks and securities firms

Licensed persons pursuant to Article 1b BA (FinTech licence)


Registered insurance intermediaries

Insurance intermediaries are persons who offer or conclude insurance contracts.

  • Entry in the register is mandatory for untied insurance intermediaries.
  • Tied insurance intermediaries are entered in the register in exceptional cases in accordance with Article 42 para. 4 ISA.

Asset management

Stock exchange and financial market infrastructures

Portfolio managers and trustees

Supervisory organisations

Money laundering

The Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) allows for indirect supervision via a self-regulatory organisation (SRO). By searching the members’ lists, you can see whether a financial intermediary belongs to one of these SROs.

The legislator cancelled the status of directly subordinated financial intermediaries (DSFI) with effect from 31 December 2019. These financial intermediaries will no longer be subject to supervision by FINMA from 1 January 2020 (further information on the transitional provisions).

Central mortgage bond institutions subject to the Mortgage Bond Act (MBA)

Rating agencies

Reviewing body for prospectuses

Registration body

Client advisers of Swiss financial service providers which are not subject to prudential supervision in Switzerland must sign up to an adviser register to carry out their activities. The registration body manages the adviser register and decides which client advisers to add to and delete from the register.

Business identification numbers for authorised companies

In addition to the above list, FINMA provides the available business identification numbers (UID) for authorised companies as a service.


In you are in any doubt, contact the following address to find out whether a service provider has been authorised to operate:

Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA
Laupenstrasse 27
CH – 3003 Bern

Hotline: +41 31 327 98 88
Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. – 12 noon