A number of financial services require FINMA authorization. If FINMA receives information that a provider is operating knowingly or unknowingly without authorization, it will investigate the matter. If initial suspicions harden, FINMA can launch enforcement proceedings and impose measures of varying severity which may even lead to closing down the company.
FINMA checks the companies and individuals on its warning list to see if they are providing unauthorized services. The findings, however, have so far been inconclusive because the companies and individuals concerned have not complied with the requirement to provide information, or the information they provided is false. Moreover, when FINMA investigations reveal an imminent and considerable threat to investors, the providers involved are also entered in the list.
The fact that a company is on FINMA’s warning list does not automatically mean that its activities are unlawful. Their entry in the list does, however, highlight the lack of authorization. The companies and individuals in question will be removed from the list once FINMA has completed its investigations and taken any appropriate measures.
The public should be especially wary of providers who have seriously breached supervisory regulations and subsequently been the subject of a FINMA ruling. The names of companies or individuals are published in accordance with Article 34 of the Swiss Financial Market Supervision Act.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner – Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Andrei Slavenkov – Investigating Consultant