Swiss FinSA And FinIA Effective As From 1 January 2020 - Overview Of Transitory Provisions


    In a meeting on 6 November 2019, the Federal Council decided that the Financial Services Act (FinSA) and the Financial Institutions Act (FinIA), together with the corresponding ordinances, will enter into force on 1 January 2020. On the same date, the definitive text of the respective ordinances, the Financial Services Ordinance (FinSO) and the Financial Institutions Ordinance (FinIO), was published. The amended text of the ordinances addresses numerous open questions regarding the transitory provisions.

    This newsletter provides an overview of the transitory provisions of the FinSA and FinIA, with a strong focus on their impact on the Collective Investment Schemes Act (CISA). It is not intended to cover all particular aspects of the transitory provisions.

    1.1 Why transitory provisions?

    Transitory provisions exist mainly where the implementation of the new laws is more complex for the market participants. While most of the FinSA provisions are subject to transitory provisions due to the fact that they mainly entail new obligations, the FinIA provisions will be applicable as from 1 January 2020, except where financial institutes are confronted with a new licence or new licensing requirements.

    1.2 General implications of transitory provisions

    Most of the transitory provisions of the FinSO will apply for two years after its entry into force. This had already been anticipated by the Federal Department of Finance (FDF) on 9 September 2019. However, the industry was still awaiting the more specific transitory provisions as the initial drafts of the FinSO and the FinIO did not provide the required level of detail.

    In principle, provisions which are subject to transitory provisions can, in the absence of specifications to the contrary, be voluntarily applied as from 1 January 2020. However, several transitory provisions prevent so-called cherry picking by linking the applicability of certain new provisions to the application of others. It is therefore advisable to make checks and balances of the whole package before deciding when to implement them.

    1.3 Terminology

    Before discussing the subject matter, it is worth clarifying some definitions. When referring to old or previous in connection with a legal provision, we actually mean the version prior to implementation of FinSA and FinIA. Therefore, when reference is made to a revised or new provision, we mean the FinSA and FinIA provisions, including the corresponding amendments made by...

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