Internal controls and risk management

FINMA operates an effective internal control system in order to minimise organisational weaknesses, optimise its own processes and identify risks.
After the line managers, who primarily act in a preventive manner to deal with risks in their own areas, the internal control system – together with the control functions – forms the second line of defence aimed at ensuring error-free business activities.

Focus on orderly operations

The internal control system (ICS) monitors FINMA’s internal procedures, methods, instruments and measures ordered by the Board of Directors, the Executive Board and other FINMA managers in order to safeguard the authority's financial base and ensure orderly operating procedures. A further task of the internal control system is to respond quickly to risk situations and implement appropriate measures.

The ICS specialist unit

FINMA's internal control system is supported by the specialist unit for Internal Controls. This unit should ensure that:

  • the level of transparency in FINMA's procedural organisation is increased, processes are optimised on an ongoing basis and the control activities within workflows are improved;
  • strategic, political and operational risks, as well as legal risks, are identified and addressed in a timely manner.

Cooperation with internal auditors

FINMA's internal control system is managed in line with professional standards. The ICS specialist unit also ensures that weaknesses are identified, measures are drawn up and their subsequent implementation is also monitored. The specialist works closely together with the third line of defence, the Internal Audit unit, and – in connection with financial issues – the Swiss Federal Audit Office as FINMA's auditor.