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Swiss Bankers Call For Investment Law Revision

by Ulrika Lomas, Lowtax.net, Brussels
07 April, 2014

The Association of Swiss Private Banks (SPBA) has said that while it supports the main thrust of the Federal Council's new Financial Market Infrastructure Act (FMIA), the legislation must not threaten the competitiveness of the Swiss financial center.

Switzerland's FMIA aims to align the nation's financial market infrastructure and derivative trading rules with international standards, to guarantee the financial center's ability to access foreign markets. The decree combines existing Swiss laws with new regulations.

The SPBA said that it is imperative to ensure "equivalence" with international standards to create a level playing field, in particular with America's Dodd-Frank Act and the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). It pointed out, however, that unilaterally tightening the regulations would prove damaging to stakeholders and merely result in a relocation of activities abroad. The Federal Council must not subject Swiss financial center actors to additional constraints or costs, the Association said.

Setting out a series of recommended changes to the Act, the SPBA proposed that classic derivative trading – including currency swaps – should be excluded from certain obligations provided for in the legislation, as is the case in other international jurisdictions. The association also called for a revision clause to be included to regularly verify that equivalent measures are in place.

Concluding, the SPBA stressed that the FMIA must be adopted swiftly as Switzerland is currently lagging behind other countries.

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