Current Status of the Swiss Client Advisor Register
The Financial Services Act FinSA and the Financial Services Ordinance FinSO came into force on 1 January 2020. It still remains open when the first registration office within the meaning of Art. 31 FinSA will be approved by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA.
As previously announced, BX Swiss AG has submitted an application to FINMA for approval as a registration office (also for a prospectus review office). We expect the corresponding approvals to be granted during the course of March/April 2020. As soon as the BX Swiss registration office has been approved, client advisors will be able to use our new online platform, which will be accessible via www.regservices.ch, to register their client advisors cost-effectively and fully digitally. We will keep you up to date on further developments.
The transitional period pursuant to Art. 107 FinSO for entry in the client advisor register will commence as soon as the first registration office is approved by FINMA. From this date, client advisors who are subject to registration will have six months to submit the application to the registration office. This means that the application for registration will probably have to be submitted by August/September 2020 at the latest.
Requirements for registration
The following documents from the client advisor will be required for entry in the BX Swiss register of advisors:
- A complete and up-to-date CV (a PDF copy of the current and complete LinkedIn or XING profile will also be accepted)
- A copy of the ID or passport
- An employer confirmation, if the client advisor works for one (or more) financial service providers
- A certificate of professional liability insurance in accordance with Art. 32 FinSO or proof of an equivalent guarantee in accordance with Art. 33 FinSO
- A recent extract from the criminal record (not older than 3 months)
- Evidence of formal qualifications (evidence of professional knowledge relating to the financial services provided in accordance with Art. 3 lit. c FinSA and evidence of knowledge of the rules of conduct in accordance with FinSA)
If the client advisor is unable to demonstrate the required expertise and/or knowledge of the FinSA rules of conduct at the time of application, the transitional provision pursuant to Art. 104 FinSO may be used. In this case, the proof must be provided by the end of December 2021 at the latest and the entry in the public register will contain a note indicating that the client advisor is making use of the transitional period pursuant to Art. 104 FinSO.
In addition to the above-mentioned documents to be submitted, it must also be indicated to which ombudsman pursuant to Art. 74 et seq. FinSA the client advisor or the financial services provider for whom he or she works is affiliated. The ombudsman is/are recognised by the Federal Department of Finance FDF. BX Swiss expects that the first ombudsmen will be admitted in the course of February 2020. We will inform you about this in good time.
FINMA announced today that it plans to bring a new Financial Institutions Ordinance-FINMA (FinIO-FINMA) into force. FINMA will hold a consultation on the follow-up regulation up to 9 April 2020. Further information on this can be found on the FINMA website.
Although this new FinIO-FINMA regulates aspects such as details of professional liability insurance, it is only relevant to financial institutions that are subject to the Financial Institutions Act (portfolio managers, trustees and managers of collective assets). The new FinIO-FINMA therefore has no effect in its scope of application on requirements for the register of advisors, which is regulated by the Financial Services Act (FinSA) and the Financial Services Ordinance (FinSO). According to FINMA, no FinSO-FINMA is planned, but only the aferementioned FinIO-FINMA.
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