Legal basis

According to Art. 22 FinSA, client advisors of domestic financial service providers who are not supervised in accordance with Art. 3 FINMASA and client advisors of foreign financial service providers may only exercise their activities in Switzerland if they are entered in a register of advisors. The advisor register is maintained by a registration office in accordance with Art. 31 FinSA. It requires FINMA approval for its activities.

Client advisors, i.e. natural persons who provide financial services on behalf of a financial service provider or themselves as financial service providers – for example in the form of the distribution of funds in the Swiss market – must therefore be entered in a register of advisors under the FinSA, which will come into force on 1 January 2020. The obligation to register applies even to client advisors of foreign financial service providers who are part of a group supervised by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA, provided they do not offer their financial services in Switzerland exclusively to professional or institutional clients. The entry in the advisor register must be made before financial services are provided in Switzerland or to clients domiciled in Switzerland. The wording of the FinSA suggests that this obligation applies to every client who is in Switzerland.

Tasks of the client advisor register

Tasks of the client advisor registry

The registration office shall decide on the entries and deletions in the client advisor register and issue the necessary decrees.

Registered client advisors and the financial services provider for whom they work must notify the registration office of all changes to the facts underlying the registration.

The competent supervisory authorities shall notify the registration office if they:

  • prohibit registered client advisors from carrying out any activity or profession; or
  • become aware that a criminal conviction has been handed down against registered client advisors.

If the registration office becomes aware that a client advisor no longer fulfils a registration requirement, it shall delete the client advisor from the register.

The data in the advisor register are public and are made accessible by the registration office in a retrieval procedure.

Requirements for entry in the Advisor Register

The prerequisites for entry in the advisor register are sufficient knowledge of the rules of conduct under FinSA, the specialist knowledge required for the business activity, the conclusion of a professional liability insurance policy or the existence of an equivalent security, connection to an ombudsman, no entry due to criminal offences against assets under the Swiss Penal Code and no ban on activity or profession imposed by FINMA. The advisor register will have a certain discretion as to whether a client advisor has sufficient knowledge of the rules of conduct under FinSA and the specialist knowledge required for the activity. When registering, the client advisor will therefore have to prove, by means of documents and possibly also on the basis of an oral interview, that he possesses the necessary knowledge and skills.

Client advisors shall be entered in the Advisor Register if they provide evidence that they:

have sufficient knowledge of the FinSA rules of conduct and of the expertise required for their work;

have taken out professional liability insurance or equivalent financial security; and

are themselves affiliated as financial service providers or the financial service provider for whom they work with an ombudsman pursuant to Art. 74 FinSA

Published Information

The Register of Advisors shall publish at least the following information on the client advisors:

surname and first name;

name or company name and address of the financial service provider for whom they work;

Function and position of the client advisor within the organisation;

the fields of activity;

the education and training completed;

the ombudsman service to which they themselves are affiliated as financial service providers or the financial service provider for which they work;

date of entry in the register.

By when do client advisors have to be entered in an advisor register?

Pursuant to Art. 95 para. 2 FinSA and Art. 107 FinSO, client advisors subject to a registration must apply for entry into an advisor register within six months of approval of the first Registration Office, i.e. most likely by mid-2020.

FINMA approved registration offices in Switzerland

So far, FINMA has not licensed any registration office. It is to be expected that there will be more than one possible registry. The approval of the first registration office by FINMA is not expected before mid-January 2020.

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    Diese Webseite informiert über die Aufgaben der ab dem Jahr 2020 im Rahmen des schweizerischen Bundesgesetzes über die Finanzdienstleistungen (FIDLEG) eingeführten Prüfstelle für Prospekte, des Beraterregisters sowie der Ombudsstelle.

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