State Secretariat for International Financial Matters SIF

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Federal Financial Services Act (FFSA)

Last update: 27.02.2014

Competent authorities: State Secretariat for International Financial Matters / General Secretariat of the Federal Department of Finance

What is it about?

It became obvious particularly during the financial crisis that client protection is inadequate for certain financial services and products. There have been various national and supranational initiatives in this area as a result. In Switzerland, FINMA analysed the situation and proposed a package of measures designed to improve client protection in its distribution report (October 2010) and in the position paper derived from it (February 2012).

The problem lends itself to consideration across all sectors (bank services, insurance services, advisory services, etc.). Furthermore, the vastly different regulatory levels adversely affect the integrity and competitiveness of Switzerland's financial centre. For reasons of equal treatment and competitive neutrality, situations should also be avoided whereby similar financial products are subject to different requirements within Switzerland, depending on the financial service provider in question.

Regulatory level


Current status and planned steps 

On 28 March 2012, the Federal Council instructed the Federal Department of Finance, with the assistance of the Federal Office of Justice (within the FDJP) and FINMA, to commence work on a project to prepare the legal basis.

The Steering Group for the Federal Financial Services Act project published its hearing report on 18 February 2013, showing the possible strategic directions of the planned regulatory project.

Hearing report on the Federal Financial Services Act project is published

A first important milestone was reached with the publication of the hearing report. With the publication of the strategic directions, interested parties could already envisage how the regulatory project would look. The interested parties were able to submit their comments on the hearing report in writing up to 28 March 2013. In addition, a panel event took place on 7 March 2013. It offered the participants the opportunity to directly discuss and exchange views on the srategic directions.

It is planned to present a consultation draft to the Federal Council by mid-2014.

Links to other regulatory proposals

Ongoing or recently completed legislative projects relating to financial services with client protection features, e.g. the revision of the Collective Investment Schemes Act (CISA), will bring improvements to sub-sectors and will be taken into account in the work being carried out.

Background material

None as yet

International references

Among others, analogies to the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive in the EU, which is currently being revised (MiFID II).

Contact and further information

Enquiries and information:

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State Secretariat for International Financial Matters SIF | Legal framework