Market infrastructure - Switzerland
Institutions and organisation
Stock Exchanges and related institutions
SIX Swiss Exchange AG - ( www.six-swiss-exchange.com )
In late 1995, the Zurich, Geneva and Basle stock exchanges merged to form the Swiss Exchange SWX, supervised by the Federal Banking Commission. This became SIX Swiss Exchange in 2008.
Any institution with banking status can apply for membership of the exchange; securities dealers other than banks may be admitted if additional requirements are met. Members of the Swiss stock exchange must trade listed securities via the SIX Swiss Exchange AG; unlisted securities can only be traded "over the counter".
The SIX Swiss Exchange AG is a fully automated trading system for shares, bonds, options and fund units as well as Eurobonds and German Pfandbriefe (mortgage bonds) with electronic links to SIS (the CSD) and to the Swiss National Bank's money transfer systems, Swiss Interbank Clearing (SIC).
CSD - SIX SIS ( www.six-securities-services.com )
SIX SIS is the result of the merger between SWX Group, SIS Group and Telekurs Group and acts as the central clearing and depository organisation for domestic securities and foreign issues listed at the Swiss Exchange SWX.
Eligible participants in SIS are: banks, brokers and financial institutions domiciled in Switzerland or abroad. SIS is linked in online real-time mode to the SIX Swiss Exchange and to the Swiss National Bank's money transfer systems SIC and EUROSIC.
Central Bank - The Swiss Nationalbank (SNB) - ( www.snb.ch )
The Swiss National Bank conducts the country's monetary policy as an independent central bank. It is obliged by Constitution and statute to act in accordance with the interests of the country as a whole. Its primary goal is to ensure price stability, while taking due account of economic developments. In so doing, it creates an appropriate environment for economic growth.
The legal basis for the Swiss financial system is provided by the national parliament (National Council and council of States). The regulations elaborated by these two chambers are implemented by the Federal Council and the Ministry of Finance (executive bodies).
The regulation and supervision of the Swiss banking system is governed by a number laws and ordinances, which could be consulted under the link www.finma.ch.
Supervision of Banks, Securities Dealers, Stock Exchange and Markets
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisroy Authority FINMA ( www.finma.ch ) is the monitoring agency. Moreover, the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) provides the framework for efficient self-regulation in the Swiss financial centre.
Insider trading legislation
Insider trading is considered a crime and punished with heavy fines and/or imprisonment.