New regulations for insurance intermediaries according to FINMA – as of 01.01.2024
These days there are intermediary symposium events – an information day about the new regulations of FINMA regarding the activity as an insurance intermediary.
By the end of October we will collect as much info as possible, and then summarize the most important points.
What is known so far:
- Register entry: In order to operate unbound, you must register as an insurance intermediary in FINMA’s public register. To do this, you must submit documents and information to FINMA electronically. If you are already on the registry as unaffiliated on January 1, 2024, you may continue to operate unaffiliated. You have until June 30, 2024 to submit your post-documentation.
In principle, tied insurance intermediaries are no longer listed in the FINMA register.
- Financial security: Insurance intermediaries must have professional liability insurance or equivalent financial security.
- Duty to inform: You must provide your customers with a range of important information before concluding a contract. Unaffiliated must disclose, in particular, about compensation from insurance companies or other third parties.
- Reporting obligation: As an unbound insurance intermediary, you must submit key figures and information on your activities to FINMA on an annual basis.
- Cost: Registered insurance intermediaries will incur annual supervision fees beginning January 1, 2024. The amount for 2024 was set at CHF 475. The one-time registration fee is CHF 350 for natural persons and CHF 750 for legal entities. There is no charge for the post-documentation.
Education and training for insurance intermediaries
All insurance intermediaries must now acquire and demonstrate the skills and knowledge necessary for their activities. The insurance industry defines these standards itself and organizes mandatory education and training. More information can be found on the website of the Insurance Industry Vocational Training Association (VBV):
- The new training for insurance intermediaries at the Berufsbildungsverband der Versicherungswirtschaft (Vocational Training Association of the Insurance Industry)
If they are already working as an insurance intermediary before or on January 1, 2024, you must meet the continuing education requirement by January 1, 2026.
Deadlines for new registrations and for changes to existing register entries
- If you wish to register as an unbound insurance intermediary by December 31, 2023, you must submit your application via the FINMA website no later than November 17, 2023. Due to a technical system change, this time restriction is necessary. This is the only way to process all registration applications submitted by then and to register the persons concerned in due time.
- Edits to existing registry entries via the current user account must be made by on December 15, 2023. From 16. until December 31, 2023, no changes can be made.
Mandatory follow-up documentation for already active unbound insurance intermediaries
If you are registered as an unbound insurance intermediary in the FINMA register before January 1, 2024, you may continue to broker insurance on an unbound basis from 2024. However, you must electronically submit the mandatory post-documentation to FINMA. They have from January 1, 2024, until June 30, 2024, at the latest, to do so. In principle, this period cannot be extended. There are no fees for post-documentation.
Termination of activity as an unbound insurance intermediary.
If you no longer wish to practice as an unaffiliated insurance intermediary after January 1, 2024, you must deactivate yourself through the Intermediary Portal. This must be done no later than December 15, 2023. If you do not deactivate, you will still be considered active by FINMA in 2024 and will have to pay the 2024 supervision fee.
Changes for insurance companies
Insurance companies may only work with insurance intermediaries who fulfill the required obligations. For example, insurance companies must ensure that the unbound insurance intermediaries working for them are entered in FINMA’s register. They must also ensure that tied insurance intermediaries meet the legal requirements. These requirements also apply to the sale of insurance via electronic platforms.
Useful information and links
FINMA supervisory notice 04/2023: Action plan for insurance intermediaries
Technical presentation at the Small Insurance Symposium on May 23, 2023: Serge Selhofer, Head of Insurance Intermediary Supervision / Markus Geissbühler, Head of Digital Insurance and Intermediary Supervision Division.
- Information on the subordination and minimum standards for the skills and knowledge of insurance intermediaries in accordance with the revised ISA on the website of the Insurance Industry Vocational Training Association VBV To the VBV website
- The revised ISA and the revised SO on the website of the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters SIF
To the ISA
About the AVO
- Explanatory report of the Federal Department of Finance FDF on the amendment of the Supervision Ordinance (supervision, solvency, tied assets, rules of conduct and insurance mediation)
About the explanatory report
Questions regarding the registration or post-documentation process can be directed to FINMA via the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions regarding the new regulation as well as the subordination can be submitted via email@example.com.
The assessment of your registration and subordination obligation as an insurance intermediary deals with the legal assessment of a specific and isolated set of facts in advance of a registration application. These clarifications by FINMA are generally subject to a fee.
Source: FINMA official website