Swiss trade body welcomes investment act amendments

The Swiss parliament has approved the partial revision to the Collective Investment Schemes Act (CISA) this week, following a proposal earlier this year.

The amendments will have a positive impact on the local asset management and distribution industry, according to the Swiss Funds Association (SFA).

CISA, originally adopted back in 2006, aimed to bring Swiss legislation in line with the European Ucits legislation, providing transparency and protection to retail fund investors.

The move was said to strengthen Switzerland’s competitiveness as a location for collective investment funds.

The aim of the revision to the rules is to align Swiss legislation with the improved international standards, including the new European Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD).

The amendments concern management, custody and distribution of funds and are set to affect both local and foreign collective investment schemes in Switzerland.

The main changes include a need for authorisation by the Swiss financial markets supervisory authority, FINMA, for new domestic and foreign asset managers, more rigorous reporting rules and disclosure to investors of all costs charged by the fund provider.

Additionally, from now on high net worth individuals will no longer be automatically considered “qualified” investors, but will have the chance to be awarded this definition, subject to meeting the relevant conditions.

The SFA approves of the amendments, adopted today, considering them to be a “balanced compromise between investor protection, market access and competitiveness.”

Martin Thommen, president of the SFA, said: “We welcome the amendments that have been accepted, which take on board many of the points we had raised. The solution that has been reached takes account of aspects pertaining to investor protection, but also the needs of the asset management sector with regard to EU market access and competitiveness.”

CEO Matthäus Den Otter added that “the next step will be to add specific detail to these good principles at the ordinance level.”

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