FINMA organises itself according to the principles of cost-effective management and keeps its own accounts. Its objective is to manage its financial resources prudently, to keep the cost/benefit ratio at an appropriate level and to maximise the use of the resources available.
FINMA's costs are covered by the institutions it supervises. FINMA can thus adjust its cost level where there is a specific need to do so.
Supervised institutions are required to pay supervisory fees and levies. User fees are levied individually from each supervised institution. These fees are mainly charged for rulings and supervisory proceedings, and cover the costs of the work carried out by FINMA. More than 20% of FINMA's annual expenditure (CHF 133 million) was covered by fees in 2016.
In contrast, supervisory levies are not charged individually and are attributed on a group basis. The user-based supervision costs are assigned appropriately to the various supervision areas. FINMA covers almost 80% of its operating costs, including allocations to its statutory reserves, through supervisory levies.
Increase in share of fees since 2009
Article 15 FINMASA defines the criteria on which supervisory levies are based. For banks and securities dealers, the levies are based on the balance sheet total and securities turnover; the share in the total premium income of all insurance companies is used for insurers; and the volume of assets under management, gross income and the size of the undertaking for supervised institutions under the Collective Investment Schemes Act. The FINMA Fees and Levies Ordinance sets out the criteria for charging supervisory levies.
FINMA uses 60% of its internal resources for its core tasks of licensing, supervision enforcement and regulation. Support and management processes account for the remaining 40%.
Two thirds of the resources expended on core activities are used for supervision.
Staff costs account for the majority of operating costs (over 80%); 9% goes towards IT costs, and 10% towards other operating costs, including depreciation on fixed assets. Operating costs in 2016 fell by 2% compared with 2015.
Staff costs account for the largest part of overall operating costs.