FINMA Lifts the Ceiling for Non-Banks for Up to 100 Million CHF

December 03, 2018 | AtoZ Markets – The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA has published today, December, 3rd, a new guideline for applying to a new FinTech licence, which comes as an update of Article 1b of the Banking Act.

The new guideline, which FINMA says it has been released for “simplifying the application process”, advises that interested parties can start their applications for the new licence from 2019.

The new update which comes as a market incentive, as the Swiss financial watchdog explains on its website, allows institutions to accept a sum of up to CHF 100 million, should they meet the regulatory conditions.

“To boost innovative financial companies, the Swiss parliament has introduced the new FinTech licence (persons under Article 1b of the Banking Act) – a licence with relaxed requirements. The Federal Council has set out the terms of this in the Banking Ordinance. The FinTech licence allows institutions to accept public deposits of up to CHF 100 million, provided that these are not invested and no interest is paid on them. A further requirement is that an institution with a FinTech licence must have its registered office and conduct its business activities in Switzerland.”, said FINMA in its document.

FINMA noted that it is the side which grants the licence mentioned, and that it will supervise those institutions.

The regulator offered interested parties to present their projects to it in a meeting prior to submitting the application.

Summary of the conditions for granting the new licence

As general information to be included in the application, FINMA asked for knowing the reasons that pushed for applying for the licence referred to, as a person pursuant to Article 1b BA and the intention behind the application.

In addition to the above mentioned, FINMA asked for providing a description of the proposed activity and organisation, including the proposed business activity, geographical scope and target clients, besides providing a “certified extract from the commercial register”.

The Swiss regulator pointed out to that information on the business premises, infrastructure and personnel, are also needed for granting the licence, as well as information about the applicant’s group companies, participations and/or other presences (branch or representative offices).

FINMA detailed in its paper also the other conditions that should be met for granting the licence, which were further expanded under the provisions of participation by the applicant’s side, Information about persons entrusted with the administration and

management of the business, Business activity and internal organisation, Meeting of financial requirements, and Additional requirements for groups operating in the financial services sector. 

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