Supervisory body of the Board of Directors

Independent internal controls are a key component of good business management. These controls are performed by FINMA's Internal Audit unit, which reports directly to the Board of Directors.

The Internal Audit unit is FINMA's independent internal supervisory body and monitors FINMA's management activities on behalf of the Board of Directors. It has an unlimited power to perform audits across the authority.

The Internal Audit unit assesses in a systematic, independent and objective manner

  • whether the strategy specified by the Board of Directors is being adhered to and implemented,
  • whether FINMA's processes and systems are effective and efficient, and
  • whether the Executive Board is fulfilling its monitoring and supervisory duties.

Areas of control

The Internal Audit unit can perform audits of all FINMA's tasks and processes and check its financial reporting, compliance with existing rules, processes, systems, management activities, projects and even contracts.

The Internal Audit unit works independently of FINMA's daily business processes and forms an organisationally independent body. To ensure its independence, it reports directly to the Board of Directors.

Third line of defence

The Internal Audit unit represents the third line of defence and monitors compliance with the respective requirements and controls, as well as controlling their effectiveness. In addition to this, FINMA's line managers actively manage risks in their respective areas (first line of defence). Operationally independent assurance functions such as the internal control system and the compliance unit also support and monitor the line (second line of defence). The Internal Audit unit works together in a close and coordinated manner with FINMA's specialist unit for internal controls (Internal Control System [ICS]).

FINMA's Internal Audit unit is a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors Switzerland (IIAS) and is thus subject to the international standards for internal auditing.