Federal Council adopts implementing provisions for fintech authorisation

Bern, 30.11.2018 - From 1 January 2019, companies that operate beyond the core activities characteristic of banks will be able to accept public funds of up to a maximum of CHF 100 million on a professional basis subject to simplified requirements. During its meeting on 30 November 2018, the Federal Council brought into force a corresponding amendment to the Banking Act to promote innovation (fintech). Moreover, crowdlending should be possible also for private consumption within the authorisation-exempt area of the sandbox.

In February 2017, the Federal Council put three measures out for consultation to promote innovation in the financial sector and to remove barriers to market entry for fintech firms. Two of these – the extension of the holding period for settlement accounts and an authorisation-exempt innovation area (sandbox) – have already been regulated at ordinance level in the meantime and came into force on 1 August 2017. It is now possible for the third measure – a new authorisation category with simplified requirements in the Banking Act – to come into force on 1 January 2019.

With the new measure, companies with special authorisation can accept public funds of up to CHF 100 million from 1 January 2019, provided they neither invest nor pay interest on these funds. The simplified requirements will be fleshed out, likewise as at 1 January 2019, by amendments to the Banking Ordinance (BankO), the Auditor Oversight Ordinance and the FINMA Fees and Charges Ordinance.

In the BankO, the sandbox will additionally be extended to include crowdlending business models, whereby public funds up to a total amount of CHF 1 million can one day be brokered not only for commercial and industrial purposes but also for private consumption. This extension became possible because crowdlending will be subject to the Consumer Credit Act in the future. As it will take time to implement these rules, the changes to consumer credit law and the associated amendment of the BankO will not come into force until 1 April 2019.

Address for enquiries

Frank Wettstein, Communications, State Secretariat for International Finance SIF
Tel. +41 58 462 38 56, frank.wettstein@sif.admin.ch


The Federal Council

Federal Department of Finance