Paying with mobile phones, trading in virtual currencies, crowdfunding: technological developments are presenting traditional financial institutions with a major challenge; internet groups such as Google and Facebook are noticeably moving into this market. However, digitisation also stimulates competition between business locations, and Switzerland has not yet reached its full potential as an international business location for digital financial innovation.
The regulatory environment for the financial sector should promote competition within the sector and enable market access also for service providers with innovative business models that use new technologies. Given the momentum in this area, it is an important concern that Swiss financial market law is shaped in such a way that the rapidly progressing digitisation in the financial sector can be exploited as an opportunity. A competitive environment for established financial service providers and new market entrants will strengthen the financial centre in international competition.
Specific steps within the framework of the financial market policy for a competitive Swiss financial centre:
- For innovative financial service providers that do not conduct traditional banking business, the Federal Council is proposing legislative adjustments for new forms of authorisation and has already enlarged the authorisation-exempt area (see press release of 5 July 2017).
- The regular dialogue with the sector will be intensified.
- The State Secretariat for International Financial Matters (SIF) has established a blockchain/ICO working group. It will review the legal framework and identify any need for action with the involvement of the Federal Office of Justice (FOJ), the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and in close consultation with the sector.
Last modification 23.02.2018