Supervision of CISA institutions and products

As part of its supervisory remit, FINMA monitors whether authorised CISA institutions and approved CISA products meet the relevant legal, contractual, statutory and regulatory requirements.
The Supervision of Institutions and Products group at FINMA is responsible for supervising CISA licence holders and products. The relevant statutory basis is provided in particular by the Collective Investment Schemes Act (CISA), the associated ordinances and FINMA circulars, and the recognised self-regulatory standards.

FINMA's supervisory system distinguishes between indirect supervision, in which regulatory auditors are used to extend FINMA’s reach, and direct supervision, in which FINMA performs the supervisory activity itself. In addition, FINMA can also collect data from collective investment schemes.

Institutions

As part of its supervisory remit, FINMA monitors whether the following CISA licence holders meet the relevant legal, contractual, statutory and regulatory requirements:

  • fund management companies
  • asset managers of collective investment schemes
  • investment companies with variable capital (SICAVs)
  • limited partnerships for collective investment
  • investment companies with fixed capital (SICAFs)
  • custodian banks for Swiss collective investment schemes
  • representatives of foreign collective investment schemes.

Distributors of collective investment schemes are not subject to ongoing prudential supervision by FINMA.

Swiss collective investment schemes

FINMA monitors whether Swiss collective investment schemes comply with the specifications set out in their fund contract and prospectus. FINMA's assessment is based on an annual audit of the company's financial statements and prospectus by an audit company. In addition to these audits, FINMA also conducts its own periodic case-related audits, but it does not review the appropriateness of business decisions taken by licence holders (Art. 132 para. 2 CISA).

If investors suffer losses due to a breach of a contractual or statutory obligation, a claim for compensation can be asserted (Art. 145 CISA). This entitlement is of a contractual and not regulatory nature. Thus, FINMA cannot initiate proceedings and is not responsible for the civil law component of losses suffered by investors. However, within the scope of supervisory law and in cooperation with the auditors, FINMA ensures that the investor’s entitlement to information is upheld. Civil courts are ultimately responsible for assessing the facts of each case.

Foreign collective investment schemes

Essentially, these products are supervised by the responsible authority in their country of origin. Representatives of foreign collective investment schemes who are located in Switzerland and authorised by FINMA are responsible for complying with the statutory provisions governing these schemes.