Funds being promoted in Switzerland will face several revised regulation requirements from 1st January 2020.
The regulations implemented by The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), introduce three new concepts along with several other important updates to aspects of fund governance in the territory.
Martin Neason, Head of Global Funds Registration at FE fundinfo, said:
“The revised regulations introduce some important updates, of which fund managers and providers need to be aware if they want their funds to continue to be available within the Swiss market. While the revisions themselves may not necessarily bring in whole scale changes to the way in which funds operate, they are wide-ranging in scope. The new concepts will require fund managers to understand some new definitions and to reposition the way in which their funds are marketed and how they communicate with investors.”
The new regulations will introduce three new specific concepts:
- ‘Offer’: relating to any proposal to acquire financial instruments containing sufficient information on the offer and instrument and usually aims to draw attention to and to dispose of a particular financial instrument.
- ‘Advertising’: any communication directed to investors which is aimed at drawing attention to particular financial services or financial instruments.
- ‘Provision of financial services’: the acquisition or disposal of financial instruments, receipt and transmission of orders, discretionary portfolio management and investment advice, granting of loans to finance transactions with financial instruments.
The revised requirements also include updates to the following areas:
- Advertising: any disclaimer included within a document or website which relates to a financial instrument, must have the wording: “This is an advertising document”, or: “This website may contain advertising,” respectively.
- Translations: it will no longer be necessary to translate a fund’s prospectus, memorandum & articles/instruments of incorporation, financial reports and KIIDs. This will be immediate for new registrations and come into effect for existing registrations from the next prospectus update.
- Basic Information Sheet (BIS): BIS will now be required for funds in Switzerland, which needs to be provided to private clients before an investment is made. BIS can however be replaced with the provision of a PRIIPs KID.
- Provision of Financial Services: Funds (‘financial service provider’) need to be registered with the Ombudsman’s Office and their personnel have to be registered on an authorised Client Adviser Register. While the fund does not have to be authorised by FINMA, they will have to be affiliated with the Ombudsman and Client Adviser Register by 30th June 2020, or six months after the introduction of the Ombudsman and Register.
- Client Categorisation: the regulations introduce three types of client categorisation; institutional, professional and private. Depending on which category a fund is targeting, it may no longer be necessary to appoint both a Swiss Rep and Paying Agent.
- ETFs: Can be registered with only the share classes that are actively offered in Switzerland listed at a Swiss stock exchange.
- Distribution Agreements: Will not be required for compliance, but may still be expected in certain areas of the market.
Martin Neason added:
“While there will be a two-year transition period whilst the new regulations are introduced, it is highly advisable that fund managers start to prepare for these changes now. The new year will see a whole host of new regulations across different regulatory regimes within Europe and it will be a challenge for fund managers to remain on top of all their obligations. Where possible fund managers should consider specialist support to ensure they remain fully compliant.”
For more information, join us on Friday 13th March 2020 for an overview of regulatory changes and implications on your fund distribution in Switzerland. Register here.
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Notes to editors:
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For more information, please visit: www.fe-fundinfo.com