Federal Council initiates consultation on new Fintech regulations

During its meeting on 1 February 2017, the Federal Council initiated the consultation on amendments to the Banking Act and Banking Ordinance in the fintech area. The revision should ensure that barriers to market entry for fintech firms are reduced and that the competitiveness of the Swiss financial centre is enhanced.

The proposed Swiss Fintech model is based on three main pillars:

  1. Specific regulatory amendments of the Swiss Banking Act and its ordinance (e.g. with regards to the exception for acceptance of funds for settlement purposes the duration shall be increased for from 7 days to 60 days);
  2. Create regulatory room for innovative business models (“sandbox” in which the acceptance of public funds up to CHF 1 million should not be classified as operating on a commercial basis and can be exempt from authorization); and
  3. Fintech license (or “banking license light” in the areas of accounting, auditing and deposit protection for companies that accept public funds of up to a maximum of CHF 100 million but do not operate in the lending business).

The amendments have not yet entered into force, but only the consultation procedure has been started. Further information can be found on the website of the Swiss Federal Council or on the website of the Federal Department of Finance.