On June 27, 2014 the Swiss Federal Council has initiated the consultation procedure for two new laws which will heavily impact the Swiss financial industry: the Financial Services Act (“FSA”) and the Financial Institutions Act (“FIA”). The FSA aims at unifying financial service providers’ business conduct rules at the point of sale. The FIA will introduce harmonized provisions regarding prudential supervision of financial institutions. In particular, independent asset managers so far not prudentially supervised shall become subject to ongoing supervision by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA or a supervisory body to be specifically created for this purpose. Moreover, both acts will influence foreign institutions’ market access to Switzerland by requiring them to adhere to the harmonized business conduct rules and to become registered in Switzerland if cross-border services are offered. The consultation procedure will be closed on October 17, 2014 and we expect that the Swiss Parliament will discuss the draft acts in 2015. The point in time when the new laws will enter into force may not be anticipated yet.

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