AFBS News February 2018
46th Ordinary General Assembly: 11.4.2018, Zürich: on the new premises of SIX Group, with a guided tour to the Finanzmuseum
Legislation and Regulation – Domestic
In its annual report 2017 the Expert Group Future Financial Centre Switzerland recommends the Federal Council to review the mandate of MELANI in order to allow the entire financial centre to benefit from the cyber prevention and response services. It also recommends to institutionalise cooperation between the industry and government and to set up a joint crisis organisation. Info: DE FR IT
The FINMA publishes for comments the draft revision of its Circular Video-Identification. The draft takes up first experiences made by the industry and adapts the video and online identification procedures. Initial transfers are now possible also from foreign countries, provided they comply with FATF ratings. Info: DE FR IT EN and FATF ratings link
The AFBS Comments on the draft revision of the FINMA Circular Audit welcome the aims at lightening the audit burden for financial intermediaries. However, the planned new regulation should be carefully aligned with the other initiatives enhancing proportionality of the regulatory and supervisory activities. Thus the final revision should await conclusions of the respective SBA and FINMA working groups. Info: AFBS Comments: DOC
Data Protection Law
The National Council will proceed in two steps for the revision of the Data Protection Law: The first step will focus on the implementation of the EU standards, necessary under the Schengen agreement. The second step will allow a revision and modernisation of the Swiss legislation. Info: DE FR IT
Minimising conflicts in competency in cross-border inheritance cases
The Federal Council proposes to revise the Federal Act on International Private Law. In February 2018 the EU adopted its regulation on jurisdiction and applicable law in international matters of succession. It also establishes in what circumstances which national inheritance law prevails. The proposed revision will aim to minimise the potential of conflicts and of diverging court decisions in relation with EU-countries. Info: DE FR IT
Client information on the Swiss Deposit Insurance esisuisse
Esisuisse is aware that the Swiss deposit insurance system is not as well known as many observers believe it should be. A special brochure helps to inform clients and employees on the matter. Info: DE FR IT EN
Revision Federal Act on Gender Equality
The Science, Education and Culture Committee SECC of the Council of States recommends approval of the proposal to request regular analyses of wage equality in companies.
Legislation and Regulation – International
CRS – OECD tax transparency
The implementation of the Automatic Information Exchange AIE is ongoing. Switzerland plans to conclude agreements on exchange of information with a group of off-shore jurisdictions also. Financial intermediaries incorporated in these countries will have to categorise and transfer information themselves and could no longer leave these tasks to the custodian bank in Switzerland.
Over the year end the OECD published for consultation a document with proposals to extend diligence and disclosure duties on "avoidance arrangements and offshore structures" as defined in the CRS. Comments are critical and suggest to first evaluate the workings of the existing standard and make amendments in that text rather than introducing an additional regulation. Info: link and consultation document in EN and in FR and comments: link
Meeting on depositor protection at international level
A conference organised by the Financial Stability Institute FSI and the International Association of Deposit Insurers IADI discussed progress for and challenges of the implementation of resolution frameworks. It looked at practical issues related to bail-in, total loss-absorbing capacity (TLAC) and valuation as well as early supervisory intervention and recovery plans. The FINMA Director Mark Branson emphasised the importance of national law enabling consistent resolution standards and assurance that individual resolution plans are effectively executable. Info: EN
Termination of membership: Banca Intermobiliare di Investimenti e Gestioni (Suisse) (takeover by Banca Zarattini & Co SA) – Fibi (Schweiz) AG (termination of business) – M.M. Warburg (Schweiz) AG (restructuring).
AFBS Conference: Value Added Tax – neutral or harmful to my business?: PwC several speakers; Zürich: 19.3.2018; Geneva: 20.3.2018; Lugano: 22.3.2018.
AFBS Roundtable: EU GDPR in Switzerland: Zürich: 13.3.2018; Geneva: 14.3.2018.
Alternative Investment Management Association's Report of the Year 2017: link
EU countries criticise the EU Commission decision to recognise equivalence of the Swiss stock exchange for only one year; they fear the negative economic impact: link
KPMG regulatory horizon: timeline of ongoing regulatory projects: LINK