Since 1 January 2020, affiliation to a Commercial Mediation Body recognised by the Federal Department of Finance (FDF) is a new licensing requirement for financial services providers in Switzerland.

FINSOM is acting on a legal mandate from the FDF to set up, develop and administer a new system for Commercial Mediation within the meaning of the Financial Services Act (FinSA).

FinSA legal mandate and other activities

As a recognised mediation body, FINSOM provides access to the Swiss financial market and contributes to its supervision (Art. 77, 81-83, 88 FinSA).

The FINSOM affiliation gives affiliated companies and their clients access to a specialised, independent and impartial Commercial Mediation system that meets international standards (Art. 75 FinSA).

FINSOM also contributes to public information and will publish an annual report on its Commercial Mediation activities (art. 86 FinSA).

Companies can also opt for Workplace Mediation, which falls under the legal requirements for occupational psychosocial health protection.

Why affiliate to FINSOM

In Switzerland, financial service providers must meet special requirements to ensure the proper conduct of business. They are also exposed to greater regulatory and reputation risks than other industries or sectors and require a specialised and appropriate mediation body.

FINSOM is the only recognised mediation body that is legally and administratively independent of any association of companies or branch organisations, supervisory authorities and state bodies.

Mediation is available in four languages and proximity to the mediation body is not necessary. Companies can also benefit from an integrated risk management and compliance approach by opting for Workplace Mediation. As required by law and good management practices, FINSOM’s governing bodies guarantee the technical skills of its mediators.

A recognised mediation body must be financed by the affiliated companies, by law. In addition to being a non-profit organisation under private law that benefits from lower operating costs in the Valais as compared to other regions, FINSOM is the only recognised mediation body that acts in the public interest and is consequently also tax-exempt.

FINSOM thereby provides an optimal guarantee of independence, impartiality and technical skills as well as a certain degree of cost control and distinguishes itself by its ACTIVITIES, ORGANISATION and transparency.

To affiliate with FINSOM, please go to AFFILIATION where you will find information concerning affiliation conditions (art. 81 FinSA) and financial contributions (art. 75 al. 1 and 80 FinSA).

Transitional provisions

The Swiss financial market is currently undergoing an important regulatory transition until 2023. Among other things, regulated companies have until 23 December 2020 to join a mediation body recognised by the FDF.

A FinSA mediation body will be established only after this transitional period, i.e. once the companies already active in the market are affiliated. After their affiliation, companies will still have to adapt to their new mediation body and inform their clients.

After 23 December 2020, FINSOM will assist affiliated companies in complying at no additional cost. Therefore, FINSOM will not deal with complaints or requests for mediation before 1 August 2021.