Adaptation of the FAQ on the duty to register: Robo Advisor
The Financial Services Act (FinSA) stipulates which client advisors are subject to the duty to register in the client advisor register (Art. 28 FinSA). Furthermore, it defines the term client advisor and assumes a natural person (Art. 3 lit. e FinSA). However, the law does not provide an explicit answer to the question of who is to be entered in the client advisor register if the financial services at the point of sale are not provided by a natural person but by a software-based application.
The purpose of registration in the client advisor register is to ensure a minimum standard of investor protection in the event of the involvement of financial service providers who are not subject to prudential supervision. This purpose must be ensured regardless of the chosen form of provision of the financial service. The provision of financial services by means of software-based applications without the direct involvement of a human being (robo-advisor) triggers the obligation to register in the client advisor register. Instead of the natural person missing at the point of sale, substitutes are to be entered in the advisor register.
Since the client advisor register is a register for natural persons, the question subsequently arises as to who must be entered as a substitute in the client advisor register in the case of a financial service provider who provides financial services without the direct involvement of a human being. This question is explained by the new question 24 of the FAQ on the duty to register.
FINMA has taken note of this addition to the FAQ on the duty to register.
If you have any further questions, please contact the Regservices team at firstname.lastname@example.org.