FINMA revised several circulars with the aim to implement the small bank regime in Switzerland. FINMA implementing this regime as of January 01, 2020, following a pilot phase and a consultation. The pilot project with 68 participating institutions will end on December 31, 2019. For the definitive launch of the small banksregime, the Federal Council also revised the Capital Adequacy Ordinance. In this context, FINMA has amended eight circulars: outsourcing for banks and insurers (Circular 18/3), operational risk for banks (Circular 08/21), corporate governance of banks (Circular 17/1), disclosures by banks (Circular 16/1), risk distributions for banks (Circular 19/1), credit risk for banks (Circular 17/7), capital buffer and capital planning of banks (Circular 11/2), and liquidity risks for banks (Circular 15/2).
FINMA will inform banks and securities dealers from Supervisory Categories 4 and 5 over the next few days about the further procedure and the registration process for the small bank regime. The small banksregime seeks to increase efficiency in regulation and supervision of small, particularly liquid and well-capitalized institutions. The consultation participants and the institutions involved in the pilot project welcome the FINMA initiative to introduce a small bank regime and largely support the adjustments to the circulars. FINMA has incorporated various suggestions from the consultation in the final circulars, to define certain relaxations more precisely.
Banks wishing to participate in the small banksregime must, therefore, be extremely well-capitalized and enjoy high liquidity. In return, they are to benefit from a significantly less complex regulatory regime under the Capital Adequacy Ordinance, which allows them, for example, to forego the calculation of risk-weighted assets. There will also be reduction in the qualitative burden in accordance with the adjusted FINMA circulars. Owing to the exemptions and relaxations, the institutions participating in the small bank regime can expect to be able to save costs directly and indirectly in the future.
Related Link (in German): Press Release and Revised Circulars
Effective Date: January 01, 2020
Keywords: Europe, Switzerland, Banking, Small Banks, Proportionality, Capital Adequacy, Disclosures, Credit Risk, Liquidity Risk, Operational Risk, Outsourcing, FINMA
The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FED) adopted the final rule on Adjustable Interest Rate (LIBOR) Act.
The European Central Bank (ECB) published an updated list of supervised entities, a report on the supervision of less significant institutions (LSIs), a statement on macro-prudential policy.
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) published a circular on the prudential treatment of crypto-asset exposures, an update on the status of transition to new interest rate benchmarks.
The European Commission (EC) adopted the standards addressing supervisory reporting of risk concentrations and intra-group transactions, benchmarking of internal approaches, and authorization of credit institutions.
The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) issued rules to manage the risk of off-balance sheet business of commercial banks and rules on corporate governance of financial institutions.
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) made announcements to address sustainability issues in the financial sector.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) published regulatory standards on identification of a group of connected clients (GCC) as well as updated the lists of identified financial conglomerates.
The General Board of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB), at its December meeting, issued an updated risk assessment via the quarterly risk dashboard and held discussions on key policy priorities to address the systemic risks in the European Union.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is seeking comments, until December 21, 2022, on the draft guidance for firms to support existing mortgage borrowers.
The Financial Stability Board (FSB) published a report that assesses progress on the transition from the Interbank Offered Rates, or IBORs, to overnight risk-free rates as well as a report that assesses global trends in the non-bank financial intermediation (NBFI) sector.