Supervisory instruments

Based on an institution’s category and rating, FINMA defines the supervisory approach to be taken, which sets out the supervisory intensity and instruments used. In principle, FINMA has three different supervisory tools at its disposal: direct supervision, indirect supervision and market data collection.
In the case of direct supervision of licence holders, FINMA conducts its own case-related audits in addition to indirect supervision by audit firms. Direct supervision by FINMA takes place in the form of case-related and additional audits.

Supervisory reviews and deep dives represent a key supervisory tool. These are special investigations focusing on a particular topic or topics. They enable FINMA to rapidly assess a business area, activity or function of the licence holder. The range of topics is chosen using a risk-based approach. Depending on the situation, FINMA agents or specialists conduct on-site supervisory reviews at the licence holder's premises. FINMA communicates the findings and any measures resulting from them to licence holders in writing. The legal basis is set out in Article 24 of the Financial Market Supervision Act (FINMASA).