International cooperation

While on the one hand the financial system operates at the global level, the supervision of financial markets is generally performed at the national level. The purpose of international cooperation is to support the implementation of national regulations – also in other countries – and to stabilise the financial system as a whole.  

Third-largest number of requests for assistance worldwide

Conversely, cooperation provisions also govern FINMA's transmission of information to foreign financial market supervisory authorities. FINMA receives the third-largest number of requests for international assistance worldwide. Most of these relate to market supervision (insider trading, market price manipulation, breaching reporting requirements, etc.) or contain queries on proper business conduct. In the banking and insurance sectors, foreign requests for assistance are mostly for information needed for the direct supervision of foreign institutions or to monitor the stability of the financial system. FINMA also receives regular requests for information on licence holders in accordance with Article 13 CISA.

Incoming requests by authority


Outgoing requests by authority

FINMA may only transmit non-public information and documents to foreign financial market supervisory authorities provided that they are bound by official or professional secrecy provisions (confidentiality principle) and use the information exclusively for the direct supervision of foreign institutions (Art. 42 FINMASA; cf. also Art. 141 CISA) or to enforce regulations in the stock exchange sector (Art. 38 SESTA) (speciality principle). If the recipient authority intends to forward the information to a third authority, FINMA will only grant its approval if the relevant legal requirements on forwarding information have been met.

Requests for assistance per year

On-site supervisory reviews

In order to enforce the financial market acts, FINMA may carry out on-site supervisory reviews at the foreign establishments of supervised institutions where it is responsible for their consolidated supervision as part of home country control. At the same time, FINMA may authorise foreign supervisory authorities to carry out on-site supervisory reviews at Swiss establishments of supervised institutions, provided the activities of the establishment in question are subject to consolidated supervision by the foreign authority conducting the review (Art. 43 FINMASA) and / or the authority is responsible for supervising the activities of a licence holder within its territory under the Collective Investment Schemes Act (Art. 143 CISA).