Instruments of banking supervision

FINMA makes direct use of various instruments in its prudential supervision of banks and securities firms. Its approach is risk-oriented and takes account of the situation on a case-by-case basis.

FINMA employs a range of supervisory instruments to ensure that supervised institutions comply at all times with the licence conditions set out in the applicable acts, ordinances and circulars.

The instruments it uses directly include the following:

FINMA applies these instruments in a risk-oriented manner, taking the situation into account when extraordinary events occur. In principle, the intensity of supervision depends on the institution’s supervisory category, but FINMA reserves the right to follow up indications of extraordinary events on a case-by-case basis.

Another instrument employed is regulatory audits conducted by external audit firms that extend FINMA’s reach. The institutions commission the audit firms who conduct the audits in line with requirements set by FINMA.