The Markets division has a broad area of responsibility, ranging from the supervision of financial market infrastructures to the recognition of rating agencies and the combating of money laundering.
This group supervises recognised self-regulatory organisations (SROs) with regard to the combating of money laundering and terrorist financing. This includes, in particular, the approval of changes to regulations and ongoing communication with self-regulatory organisations regarding the auditing of affiliated financial intermediaries. Depending on the membership structure, organisation and/or supervisory policy, the SROs are allocated to risk categories.
The group is also responsible for authorising and monitoring directly subordinated financial intermediaries (DSFIs). It checks their permanent compliance with the authorisation requirements and the statutory obligations to combat money laundering. DSFI supervision is risk-oriented.
The Anti-Money Laundering and Suitability group represents FINMA's centre of competence for the combating of money laundering and ensuring compliance with conduct rules vis-à-vis clients (suitability). In addition to this cross-divisional function, this group also handles international issues and carries out regulatory tasks.
In accordance with the Stock Exchange Act, stock exchanges and securities dealers are subject to supervision and require a licence. Furthermore, operators of a payment and securities settlement system can also be subjected to the Swiss Banking Act or the Stock Exchange Act. Depending on their authorisation application, FINMA may issue them with a banking or securities dealer licence.
The Swiss system of stock exchange supervision is based on the principle of self-regulation. Supervisory functions in several areas are delegated to self-regulatory organisations. Authorised stock exchanges therefore assume considerable monitoring and approval powers. The law makes a distinction between domestic stock exchanges, foreign stock exchanges and bodies similar to stock exchanges.
Supervised institutions (banks, securities dealers, insurance companies) may use the ratings of recognised rating agencies to satisfy supervisory requirements set out in financial market law. The Markets division is responsible for the recognition of rating agencies whose ratings can then be used for regulatory purposes.
The Accounting group deals with all accounting matters and assists the other divisions with any questions they may have about national and international accounting standards used by supervised institutions or issued by FINMA. Besides the internal support it provides, the Accounting group is also the contact point for external queries about accounting.
FINMA has been empowered by the Federal Council (FINMA Auditing Ordinance) to regulate the content and execution of audits, as well as the type of reporting (FINMA Circ. 2013/3). Audit firms extend FINMA’s reach and conduct their audits in line with the rules set by FINMA. They are supervised by the Federal Audit Oversight Agency