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Stock market offences and market abuse: Federal Council in favour of general market supervision

Bern, 17.12.2010 - To improve protection of the Swiss financial centre, all market manipulation will be prohibited in future, even for market participants not under the supervision of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). This was the decision taken by the Federal Council at its meeting today in view of the planned revision of the Stock Exchange Act.

On 8 September, the Federal Council took note of the results of the consultation procedure on the amendments to the Stock Exchange Act and instructed the Federal Department of Finance to draw up a dispatch by spring 2011. At the same time, the Federal Council announced that policy decisions on extending market supervision and the size of fines, for example, would be taken by the end of 2010.

According to the Federal Council, protection of the Swiss financial centre and investors requires the introduction of general market supervision. All market manipulation will thereby be prohibited for all market participants, and not only manipulation which is particularly damaging. This means that in future non-supervised entities, such as hedge funds and private investors, will also be subject to partial supervision by FINMA.

Compared with the original proposal in the consultation procedure, the Federal Council has increased the maximum fine for deliberate violations of the obligation to notify concerning holdings. As a rule, a deliberate violation of the obligation to notify assumes the involvement of sums in the millions. The Federal Council thus considers it to be appropriate that a criminal offence such as this should be sanctioned by imposing a maximum fine of CHF 10 million. The Federal Council had set the maximum fine in the consultation proposal at CHF 500,000 in line with the recommendations of the Expert Commission. However, this takes too little account of a wilfully committed infringement of the obligation to notify, which is why the fine has been increased. Whoever is negligent will have to pay an unchanged maximum fine of CHF 1 million.

In addition, in the case of supervisory proceedings due to a breach of the obligation to notify, the Federal Council took the decision to transfer the power to suspend voting rights from the civil judge to FINMA.

Address for enquiries:

Daniel Saameli, Media Spokesperson FDF, tel. 031 324 14 07

Publisher:

Federal Department of Finance
Internet: http://www.efd.admin.ch
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