Switzerland looks to ease rules for fintech firms

Switzerland looks to ease rules for fintech firms

Switzerland's Federal Council is calling for regulations on fintech firms to be eased in an effort to boost the competitiveness of the country's financial sector.

As Switzerland bids to catch up with fintech leaders such as London, the council - a seven member group that serves as the country's collective head of government - has set out a three point plan designed to reduce barriers to market entry and increase legal certainty.

Under the plans, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma) would be able to grant a new fintech license, which imposes less stringent rules, to firms that are involved in deposit taking but not lending.

Meanwhile, a sandbox innovation area would let firms that accept deposits of up to a total value of CHF 1 million be free from Finma monitoring.

Thirdly, the council wants a deadline of 60 days for the holding of money in settlement accounts, which it says is particularly relevant for providers of crowdfunding services.

The country's department of finance will now draw up a consultation draft by the beginning of next year which will also consider the legal treatment of virtual currencies and assets.

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