FINMA adopts new regulation implementing FinSA and FinIA

Recently The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA introduced a new regulation act under which is implementing the Financial Services Act FinSA and the Financial Institutions Act FinIA. Additionally, it is also issuing a new FINMA Financial Institutions Ordinance. They are supposed to enter into force on 1 January 2021.

The main idea of the new FINMA Financial Institutions Ordinance (FMIO-FINMA) is to regulate the details of professional indemnity insurance for portfolio managers, trustees and managers of collective assets, information about calculating the de minimis threshold for gaining authorisation as a portfolio manager, and on risk management and internal control system for managers of joint assets.

FinSA and FinIA entered into force on 1 January 2020. Both acts are governing the historical business importance of fund managers and assets. The main idea is to foster investor protection and provide access to the EU financial market by establishing a material equivalence in the regulatory framework. FinSA and FinIA, together with the Federal Council's implementing ordinances, oblige FINMA to give implementing provisions on selected, mainly technical issues. As a result, it has simplified the calculation of professional indemnity insurance as against the consultation draft.

Among other advantages of a new amendment to the FINMA, it has proposed amending the client identification threshold values in its Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance (AMLO-FINMA) from CHF 5,000 to CHF 1,000 for exchange transactions in cryptocurrencies. The importance of such amendments means that from now on, KYC identification will be obligatory for those Switzerland based financial businesses who make or receive crypto transactions starting from CHF 1,000 and up.
Moreover, the gathered information must be then passed on to The Swiss Financial Market Authority for a review. Transfers below CHF 1,000 will not demand an identity verification procedure or personal details, so acquiring smaller amounts will not be a deal. FINMA noted that "Through these measures, FINMA is implementing the international standards approved in mid-2019 and acknowledging the heightened money-laundering risks in this area".

Additionally, the European Union (EU) has implemented the Fifth Anti Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) last month, bringing certain cryptocurrency transactions under stricter regulations. In regards, the German Financial Supervisory Regulatory Authority (BaFin) released guidelines to clarify how the new law will apply to firms offering or intending to offer crypto custody services to German investors.

Sources and Articles

https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/lu/Documents/financial-se...
https://www.finma.ch/en/news/2020/11/20201112-medienmitteilung-folgeregu...
https://tokenpost.com/Switzerland-lowers-threshold-value-for-exchange-tr...
https://sumsub.com/blog/finma-pushes-new-aml-rules-to-crypto-transactions/

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