You have a problem with your bank

Here you can find answers to frequently asked questions and information on how to deal with problems with your bank. FINMA will review your tip-offs regarding possible irregularities. Where there is concrete evidence that financial market laws have been violated, FINMA carries out further investigations and imposes measures on the supervised institution if necessary.


Have you already talked to your bank?

Talking to your bank first and addressing complaints to them can solve a number of problems.

If the response was not what you were hoping for, you have the following options:

  • Talk to the Swiss Banking Ombudsman

  • You can also contact FINMA. Outline precisely what the problem is and what has happened so far. If the bank has set out its position, please enclose their response with your complaint to FINMA.

What will FINMA do with my complaint?

We will check whether your bank has complied with financial market law. If this is not the case, we will take action to ensure that in future the bank observes compliance with legal requirements.

How much will I be told?

You have no right to information about FINMA’s response, so we cannot tell you what conclusions we reached or what action we took. We are therefore not able to provide you with our assessment or inform you about any measures taken. The petition for administrative review is not a formal legal remedy and therefore does not give you the rights of a party. In matters like this, we are bound by the Administrative Procedure Act.

Why would FINMA be interested in my case?

Complaints can draw attention to possible misconduct. We are grateful for information that helps us to ensure banks run their business properly. If we have grounds to suspect that a bank is systematically failing in its duties, we will take action.

Do you think the bank owes you money (compensation or a goodwill settlement)?

Contact the Banking Ombudsman. The Swiss Banking Ombudsman provides independent information and mediation. Client complaints about banks based in Switzerland are taken up there. Problems that cannot be resolved by the Ombudsman can be brought before a civil court.

Why can FINMA not help me with my case?

FINMA cannot decide on claims filed by individual clients the way a civil court can. That is not within its remit. FINMA’s task is to protect client interests in general, but it cannot take up a particular individual cause.

What will happen to the money in my account if my bank fails?

If your bank files for bankruptcy, deposits will be given privileged treatment up to a maximum of CHF 100,000 per client. In other words, up to this amount the bank must immediately pay out any cash you request. If it does not have enough liquid assets to do so, the depositor protection scheme is triggered, as long as the branch is Swiss-based (see esisuisse website). Under this scheme, the amount will be made available within 20 working days from the date it is requested by FINMA.

In Switzerland, bank clients’ deposits are protected by the depositor protection system and by privileged treatment in the event of bankruptcy.

esisuisse website

What will happen to the shares I have deposited if my bank fails?

Unlike savings deposits, deposited assets (shares, fund units and other securities) are fully segregated and will be returned to the client. This rule applies to all deposited assets, including precious metals physically stored at the bank.