Assignment to a supervisory category is based on the potential risks for creditors, investors, insured persons, the system as a whole and the reputation of the Swiss financial centre. The categories range from 1 (extremely large, major and complex companies with very high risks) to 5 (low risk).
FINMA assigns companies to a particular category based on their balance sheet total. Currently, there are insurance companies in risk categories 2 to 5.
A company's risk potential determines which supervisory tools are used and the level of supervisory intensity: increased risks require more intensive supervision. The key factors are the risk category and FINMA's own rating of the company. If the rating parameters within a category result in negative values for a company, the relevant audit area will be subject to more intensive supervision. By following a principle-based, risk-oriented approach to supervision, FINMA can ensure an appropriate level of supervision and use its resources efficiently.