The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) is the Swiss government body responsible for financial regulation. This includes the supervision of banks, insurance companies, stock exchanges and securities dealers, as well as other financial intermediaries in Switzerland.
The FINMA is an independent institution with its own legal personality based in Bern. It is institutionally, functionally and financially independent from the central federal administration and the Federal Department of Finance and reports directly to the Swiss parliament.
The FINMA is called German: Eidgenössische Finanzmarktaufsicht, French: Autorité fédérale de surveillance des marchés financiers, Italian: Autorità federale di vigilanza sui mercati finanziari. Its main name and its acronym are expressed in English so as to avoid the semblance of favouring any one of Switzerland's linguistic regions.
Anne Héritier Lachat was Chairwoman of the Board of Directors from 2011 until 1 January 2016 when Thomas Bauer, former Ernst & Young partner became Chairman.
FINMA was founded on the 22 June 2007 with the passing of the Federal Act on the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMASA). This merged the Federal Office of Private Insurance (FOPI), the Swiss Federal Banking Commission (German acronym: EBK) and the Anti-Money Laundering Control Authority into one agency responsible for all financial regulation in Switzerland.
Banking and financial regulation has a long history in Switzerland and the Swiss Federal Banking Commission was in existence since at least 1934, before it was merged into the FINMA.
Switzerland is home to two of the worlds major banks UBS and Credit Suisse and as these are significant to the Swiss economy, FINMA has a special regulatory team dedicated to each of these two institutions.