FINMA, which stands for the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, is an autonomous regulatory body established in 2009 by the Swiss parliament to oversee and regulate all the Forex brokers, banks, financial institutions, insurance companies, insurance intermediaries, collective investment schemes, and other related businesses in the financial markets of Switzerland. The laws and regulations passed by FINMA are administered to protect traders, creditors, as well as policymakers alike. Furthermore, FINMA makes sure that every financial market’s activities or operations run smoothly so the Swiss financial industry can thrive without a hitch. FINMA as a regulatory organization is institutionally, functionally, as well as financially independent. In other words, FINMA is run by a board of directors, performs its duties without the interference of the parliament or political authorities, and gets financed by the fees it charges for the regulatory services it provides. However, FINMA is not exempt from accountability and is closely examined by the parliament in terms of its operations. It should be noted that the Swiss Federal Audit Office reviews FINMA’s accounts.
All the necessary measures taken by FINMA are towards maintaining the integrity of Switzerland’s financial markets so every party involved, be it a creditor, an investor, or a policymaker is safe and secure from fraudulent activities. To that end, a risk-oriented approach is taken to guarantee continuous improvement. FINMA also cooperates with Audit Firms and Appoints Agents to achieve maximum results. As the face of Switzerland as a financial center, FINMA promotes an approach that takes national and international standards into account.
FINMA is responsible for overseeing all the financial activities of its registered members within the financial markets including the issues of solvency, accountability towards the clients, and most importantly the reputability of the Swiss financial marketplace. Moreover, FINMA’s unique position as a regulator allows it to pass laws and legislations as well as issue licenses or take disciplinary measures. In certain cases, the organization can even revoke the said licenses if proved necessary. These measures could be taken regarding both authorized and unauthorized companies and individuals. FINMA’s duties would extend to issues of the financial sector, market abuse, insider trading, and so on. Under the supervision of the Parliament and the Federal Council, FINMA is also empowered to check compliance within its legal framework.
Additionally, every four years a document containing FINMA’s strategic goals is presented to the Federal Council by the Board of Directors. In this way, the stability of the regulated institutions is closely monitored in terms of capital requirements and liquidity, risk management measures are taken more seriously, Swiss can further develop as a financial center due to innovative approaches, and the alignment of national and international standards is made sure of; therefore, FINMA can take care of its responsibilities more easily with the help of trained, responsible, and aware staff. In addition, FINMA has three core values, namely consistency in regulatory activities, independence in its decisions, and accountability in terms of its actions.