Federal Council adopts strategic directions for future financial market policy

Bern, 20.10.2016 - During its meeting on 19 October 2016, the Federal Council adopted a report and laid the foundations for a future-oriented financial market policy. The focus is on five strategic directions that should enable the Swiss financial centre to boost its competitiveness. The framework conditions for Switzerland's financial centre should be designed in an optimal way and existing national regulatory leeway should be used. Alignment with internationally recognised standards will remain a key component of the policy.

The Federal Council's financial market policy is geared towards legal certainty, predictability and continuity. The policy's objectives and principles are correspondingly resolute. At the same time, it has to be sufficiently adaptable to be able to react in the best possible manner to developments in the rapidly changing financial environment. The Federal Council has defined five strategic directions with that in mind:

  • Maintaining and improving market access: Possible bilateral agreements will be sought with partner countries, as will EU recognition of the equivalence of Swiss financial market regulation in areas where this is advisable from an economic perspective.
  • Allowing for innovation: Disproportionate barriers to market entry, e.g. for fintech firms, should be removed by adjusting the legal framework. The financial market policy should play a supportive role also in the area of sustainable investments.
  • Optimising regulatory content and processes: Reform projects are to be carried out in consultation with the sector. Economic impact analyses will be started at an early stage and will go into more depth as regulatory projects progress. Moreover, comprehensive and independent ex-post evaluations will be carried out on important financial market regulations.
  • Limiting systemic risks: In accordance with its statutory mandate, the Federal Council will continue to carry out periodic reviews of its "too-big-to-fail" regime for systemically important banks. In addition, more attention should be paid to systemic risks in the real estate market and in the area of occupational pensions.
  • Ensuring international compliance in the areas of taxation and money laundering: Internationally recognised standards are a benchmark for Switzerland's policy in the areas of taxation and money laundering. In order to achieve a level playing field, Switzerland is committed to broad implementation of these global standards in international bodies.

A stable and competitive financial sector that functions well is a mainstay of the Swiss economy. The Swiss financial centre should continue to assert itself as one of the world's leading locations for financial business and even be able to strengthen this role.

This report on financial market policy takes account of the changed environment for Switzerland's financial centre since the last report was published in 2012.

Address for enquiries

Beat Werder, Head of Communications, State Secretariat for International Financial Matters SIF
Tel. 058 469 79 47, beat.werder@sif.admin.ch


The Federal Council

Federal Department of Finance