Swiss regulator receives application from Libra Association for payment system licence

Maria Nikolova

This marks the start of the licensing process under Swiss supervisory law, FINMA explains.

Development of Financial Passport across all sectors

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) today confirms it has received an application from Geneva-based Libra Association for a payment system licence. The application, submitted under the Financial Market Infrastructure Act (FMIA), is on the basis of an updated whitepaper.

The regulator explains that the application is not complete in all particulars, but allows FINMA’s formal licensing process to start. FINMA also notes that the application filed differs considerably from the project originally submitted, e.g. with a view to the Libra payment system also supporting single-currency stable coins as well as the multi-currency Libra payment token.

FINMA will now thoroughly analyse the application. As provided by the FMIA, it will impose extra requirements for additional services that pose increased risks. This applies in particular to bank-like risks. Also, FINMA will give special consideration to whether strict national and international standards for payment infrastructures and also for combating money laundering can be upheld.

FINMA has emphasised that the planned international scope of the project requires an internationally coordinated approach. Accordingly, the Swiss regulator says it has been in close contact with the Swiss National Bank and more than 20 other supervisory authorities and central banks from around the world since the start of its dealings with the Libra project.

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