New Swiss financial markets legislation, the Swiss Federal Financial Services Act (FinSA) and Swiss Federal Financial Institutional Act (FinIA), will come into force on 1 January 2020, with a transition period of up to 2 years for certain key provisions. The changes aim to align Swiss regulation more closely with MiFID II.
Immediate actions to be taken by foreign funds offered in Switzerland are minimal and relate principally to the identification of advertising information as such. Provisions for the registration of individuals conducting the offer/marketing in Switzerland, and registration of financial service providers with an Ombudsman apply from 30th June 2020 at the earliest, with the full regime including reclassification of investors applying from 31 December 2021.
This briefing does not constitute legal advice and highlights key provisions of the legislative changes only.
Identification of Advertising Materials and update of Websites - Effective 1 January 2020 All advertising materials relating to a financial instrument or collective investment scheme distributed in Switzerland must clearly identify such information as advertising. It is recommended that the following, or similar, wording be included at the beginning of the disclaimer in any advertising document: "This is an advertising document".
Any advertising material must be in line with information included in the Prospectus and KIIDs (where relevant). It is also recommended that any advertising document should indicate where the Prospectus and any KIIDs may be obtained.
An advertisement is defined as "Any communication directed to investors which is aimed at drawing attention to particular financial services or financial instruments". It is likely that a wide range of communications would be considered advertising, including for example, monthly factsheets or emails promoting performance of a financial product or the suitability of a product for investment.
It is also recommended that websites containing information on collective investment schemes offered in Switzerland include a Swiss disclaimer: "This website may contain advertising".
The requirement to identify advertising material as such will also apply in the promotion of investment advisory and asset management services.
The legislation provides that advertising foreign funds triggers the same registration, representation and paying agency duties as the offering of foreign funds.
Notification to any Permanent...