FINMA is organised according to the principles of cost-effective management and keeps its own accounts. Its objective is to manage its financial resources carefully, keep the cost-benefit ratio in balance and maximise the use of the resources available.
User-based fees and levies
FINMA's costs are covered by the institutions it supervises. It 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. Approximately one-fifth of FINMA's annual expenditure (CHF
131 million) was covered by fees in 2018.
In contrast, supervisory levies are charged at group level, not individually. The cost of supervision is spread across the individual areas supervised. FINMA covers almost 80% of its operating costs, including allocations to its statutory reserves, through supervisory levies.
FINMA's fees have remained stable in recent years.
Fixing supervisory levies
FINMA's supervisory levies are in line with the rules set out in Article 15 FINMASA. 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 defines the principles for charging supervisory levies.
High proportion of internal resources used for supervision
FINMA uses 60% or so 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 spent on core activities are used for supervision.
Staff costs account for a high proportion of the operating costs (over 80%), 9% is for IT costs, and 11% for other operating costs, including depreciation of fixed assets.