Swiss Client Advisor Register

FINMA approved a register of advisers for the first time in 2020

The Swiss Financial Services Act (FinSA), which entered into force on 1 January 2020, states that client advisers of Swiss & International financial service providers must be entered in the Swiss ‘Client Advisers’ Register (Art. 28 para. 1 FinSA). Client advisers are natural persons who offer financial services to clients in Switzerland. 
In the case of foreign-based companies & advisers, who use the current ‘passporting’ into Switzerland to advise Swiss based clients and/or engage by phone or email from any county outside of Switzerland, must also comply and be entered on the Swiss ‘Client Advisor’ register.

The registration body manages the Client Advisers’ Register, directly under FINMA supervision.

The investment adviser as a financial service provider and client adviser, providing investment advice on a commercial basis constitutes a financial service and is therefore covered by the new FinSA (Art. 3 lit. c and d FinSA). Under the FinSA, investment advisers, wealth managers and financial advisers fall into the client adviser category. Client advisers are natural persons who come into contact with a client of a financial service provider and offer them a specific financial service or perform such a service (e.g. issuing individual investment recommendations, advice or managing of assets).

Code of conduct for investment advisers

According to Art. 6 FinSA, client advisers, as mentioned above, must now demonstrate appropriate knowledge and be qualified, in order to be able to act for clients of financial service providers. In addition, as financial service providers, they must comply with the code of conduct pursuant to Art. 7 et seqq. FinSA (e.g. informing clients of the name and address of the financial service provider, conducting an appropriateness or suitability test and enter into the register of advisers.

Requirements for registration

In order for client advisers to be registered, they must provide proof of sufficient knowledge of the code of conduct of the FinSA and of the necessary expertise for their activity, in accordance with Art. 29 para. 1 FinSA. In addition, they must provide evidence of taking out professional indemnity insurance or the existence of an equivalent collateral as well as proof of affiliation to a Swiss financial or banking ombudsman’s office.
When client advisers possess knowledge of the FinSA code of conduct and the necessary expertise and qualifications for their activity, along with providing suitable and corresponding evidence, this will be assessed when reviewing their application for registration, whereby this review is subject to the discretion of the Swiss FinSA registration body.

  • Diplomas, certificates, chartered status and attestations of training are required, along with certified proof of experience in the signed curriculum vitae.
  • Written confirmation from the employer that the client adviser has the knowledge in the fields of activity to be registered in accordance with Art. 3 para. c FinSA.
  • All financial service providers and client advisers with Swiss clients or clients in Switzerland will need to be approved and affiliated with a Swiss financial Ombudsman Office.
  • Professional liability insurance must cover damages resulting from a breach of the statutory obligations set out in the FinSA of at least CHF 500,000 per year and per client adviser (article 32 (1) – (3) Draft-FinSO).
  • Swiss police report check on the individual adviser.
  • Attestation de non-poursuite on the individual adviser to ensure no outstanding debts, insolvency or bankruptcies.

Content of the register of advisers

The register of advisers will contain at least the following information about the investment adviser:

  • Name and first name of the investment adviser.
  • Name or corporate name and address of the financial service provider for which the investment adviser is acting.
  • Function and position of the investment adviser within the organization.
  • Fields of activity of the investment adviser, that they are regulated to provide.
  • Completed education and further training of the investment adviser.
  • Qualifications pertaining to the financial activity
  • Affiliation details of the, Swiss financial Ombudsman office to which (a) the investment adviser (if he/she is also a financial service provider) or (b) the financial service provider for which the investment adviser works is affiliated.
  • Date of entry in the register.

Clients can at any time check the Swiss FINMA client adviser register here:

Check Register

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