In December 2009, the Board of Directors passed an Enforcement Policy submitted by the Executive Board. The policy consists of thirteen principles, which describe the key elements of FINMA's financial market enforcement.
The policy specifies that enforcement – FINMA understands this as the forcible determination of facts where irregularities or misuse are suspected and the forcible implementation of financial market supervision laws – is one of various methods used by the supervisory authority to fulfil its statutory mandate. The foremost objective is to safeguard the integrity of the markets, which begins with the all-important fight against misuse and the eradication of irregularities. However, FINMA strives to proceed with measured judgement in enforcing supervisory law. This means that it can opt for a more lenient approach where this can bring about the same outcome. FINMA endeavours to conduct its proceedings swiftly and with a clear focus, and to act fairly and transparently towards those involved. This includes in particular the strict respecting of parties' rights. In its administrative proceedings, FINMA examines whether it should commission external agents to perform specific duties. FINMA also cooperates closely with criminal and other authorities, as well as with stock markets and self-regulatory organisations according to the Anti-Money Laundering Act.
The Enforcement Policy explains FINMA's proceedings against individuals in extensive detail. Such proceedings are often very drastic for those involved, and FINMA therefore acts circumspectly in this regard.
FINMA does not generally disclose any information on individual proceedings, although in exceptional cases it will make announcements on the opening, subject matter and conclusion of proceedings, but not the individual stages of the proceedings.