Self-regulation is of great importance in the financial sector. Professional associations can react more flexibly and more quickly to the rapidly changing world of financial services. They also have greater knowledge of the market and their customers. In the self-regulation system, legislators renounce detailed governmental regulation in favour of self-regulation by private organisations (so-called dual regulation).
Acts of self-regulation can be recognised as minimum standards by FINMA (= Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority) and, as such, they can then be implemented. Furthermore, such rules of conduct are relevant as protective standards in the context of liability in tort, as a benchmark for assessing due diligence and, in general, for the substantiation of duties under the law (e.g. Article 11 of the Swiss Financial Services Act [BEHG]).
Protection of reputation
However, there is no actual financial services centre in Switzerland that checks the integrity of investment opportunities; nor are there any recognised training opportunities for capital investors.
Some of the most important self-regulation standards are:
- Guidelines of the Swiss Bankers Association: Code of conduct (binding) and recommendations;
- Guidelines of the Swiss Funds Association (SFA);
- Rules of conduct of various self-regulatory organisations such as the Financial Services Standards
Association (VQF), the Swiss Association of Asset Managers (SAAM) or the Swiss Fiduciary Association (SFA).
FINMA official notices
In addition to the standards already mentioned, the practical work of FINMA in the form of official notices is of great importance.