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Compliance Corner: Mauritius, FINMA

Editorial Staff

30 March 2021

The , the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, said in its annual report last week that it conducted fewer investigations in 2020 (628) than a year earlier (816) but more enforcement proceedings (33) than in 2019 (30).

Its costs also rose as the regulator geared up for a new regulatory regime for external asset managers in Switzerland.

The watchdog said it dealt with a number of complex anti-money laundering cases with an international dimension last year. For example, it issued and published a ruling against Julius Baer and Banca Credinvest, each related to business relationships in the environment of Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA). 

In the years 2016 to 2019, FINMA conducted more than 20 cases against institutes and responsible managers in connection with corruption cases such as Malaysia’s 1MDB, South American energy group Petrobras and FIFA, the international soccer organisation.

FINMA said its costs rose slightly in 2020, although they had been largely stable for several years before that. At SFr125 million ($133.2 million), operating costs rose by SFr3.4 million above the previous year's figure. The regulator’s workload and costs rose over its new work around overseeing external asset managers and other entities under the FinSA and FinIA rules.

The number of full-time positions in the agency averaged 501 in 2020 from 489 a year before.