Foreign-based asset managers and trustees find it difficult to grasp the fact that a presence in Switzerland can be the basis for a licensing requirement.

The Financial Institutions Act (FinIA), which came into force on 1 January 2020, has brought with it a number of significant changes to the asset management industry in the broadest sense. One notable change is that asset managers and trustees will be subject to licensing and prudential supervision by FINMA. The choice to include asset managers and trustees in a regulation that otherwise applies to all financial institutions – with the exception of banks and insurance companies subject to specific laws – has certain consequences that the market has not yet realised.