In effect, this authorization from Finma aims to encourage innovation in new financial technologies and its funding.
Since 1 January 2019, it is possible to obtain a "fintech" licence from Finma. The objective of this license is to encourage innovative companies, particularly in the field of new financial technologies.
This licence "allows a company to receive public funds up to 100 million Swiss francs and to retain them without falling into the category of banking in the eyes of the law," explains Grégoire Wuest, partner at Schellenberg Wittmer in Geneva.
A company holding this simplified authorization may not earn interests on these deposits or use them as a bank would, but may invest them in another company, such as a technological start-up.
An asset for Switzerland
"This type of authorization, combined with a reduced level of supervision, is a real asset for any type of activity, even if it is only a part of the Swiss ecosystem," concludes Grégoire Wuest de Schellenberg Wittmer. "Our country has the originality of defining generic rules favourable to innovation in general, while the European Union regulates with laws specific to each type of activity."
Finma is responsible for granting the fintech license, who will also monitor the institutions to which it is granted. In order to apply for this authorization, the company must have its offices and business activity registered in Switzerland.