Swiss regulator amends Ordinance on Data Processing

Maria Nikolova

In the Ordinance, FINMA defines how it collects information to assess an individual’s compliance with proper business conduct requirements.

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) today announces that it is amending its Ordinance on Data Processing. In the Ordinance FINMA defines how it collects information to assess an individual’s compliance with proper business conduct requirements (data collection to monitor proper business conduct).

Under the provisions of financial market legislation and the Financial Market Supervisory Act, FINMA is permitted to collect and process personal data. This includes information for assessing personal compliance with the proper business conduct requirements, also referred to as the watch list. The data collected is used to ensure that supervised institutions only entrust board and executive management to individuals demonstrating proper business conduct, particularly so that past cases of non-compliance with these requirements are not repeated at another company.

The Ordinance on Data Processing (FINMA Data Processing Ordinance), in which FINMA establishes its rules on data collection, has now been revised to specify which personal data can be collected.

The latest amendment to the Ordinance will come into effect on December 1, 2019. Under the amendment, the documentation relating to a person will be stored in the data collection to monitor proper business conduct if it shows that despite there being indications that a supervisory breach has occurred, no FINMA proceedings can be launched against this person because this person has absconded. Written undertakings that a person no longer operates in the Swiss financial market either temporarily or permanently will also be collected and stored as a data category.

Let’s note that top management members of supervised institutions in Switzerland are required by financial market legislation to demonstrate proper business conduct in order to safeguard public trust in institutions supervised by FINMA as well as Switzerland’s reputation as a financial centre. Proper business conduct requirements apply to all personal and professional attributes of an individual necessary for adequate performance of their governance and management duties.

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