03 October 2017

Switzerland and Israel strengthen cooperation in the field of financial services and FinTech

Switzerland and Israel are both globally leading countries in the field of technological innovation. The renewed affirmation of the cooperation between the world leader in financial services Switzerland on the one part and the "Start-Up Nation" Israel on the other in the field of financial services and FinTech could help both countries to expand and cement their leading position in thess fields and assist FinTech companies in both countries leveraging their potential by way of encouraging cross-border cooperation.

Strengthening cooperation
Switzerland and Israel have concluded a Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") on strengthening their cooperation in the field of financial services. On September 4, 2017, Ueli Maurer, Head of the Federal Department of Finance of the Swiss Federation and Moshe Kahlon, Minister of Finance of the State of Israel met to for that purpose in Tel Aviv. Within the framework of the MOU, Israel and Switzerland agreed on principles, which should guide the cooperation of both countries in the field of financial services:

  • Continuation of a constant financial dialogue and exchange between the ministries and other competent authorities of both countries
  • Facilitating the market access of the financial institutions operating between both countries by improving the framework conditions;
  • Strengthening cooperation in bodies setting international standards in the area of financial services
  • Enhancing regulatory and supervisory cooperation in order to provide legal certainty with respect to cross-border financial services; and
  • Reinforce the bilateral cooperation in the field of financial innovation in order to establish an encouraging environment for financial innovators and facilitating the provision of services by FinTech companies in both countries.

Future offer and trade of Swiss funds at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange?
The Israeli authorities intend to review the requirements for qualified clients and investors in the investment business. Furthermore, the Israeli authorities intend to review certain parts of the Federal Act on Collective Investment Schemes (Collective Investment Schemes Act, CISA) of June 23, 2006, in order to consider the possibility to recognize and approve the public offering of Swiss funds and the listing of the units on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Additionally, the Israeli authorities intend to address pending regulations in the insurance domain and lastly, both Switzerland and Israel intend to create a framework facilitating the establishment of FinTech companies and their operation in the respective other country.

Facilitated access to the market
In parallel, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), the Israel Capital Market, Insurance and Savings Authority (CMISA) and the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) concluded a cooperation agreement in the field of FinTech.

The agreement intends to allow FinTech companies of each country to make first contacts and to inform themselves of the applicable regulatory requirements. Furthermore, the agreement foresees that the authorities of both countries inform each other about the regulatory requirements in the FinTech area as well as observe trends in this field and confer on possible consequences for regulatory requirements.

For further questions, please contact our Banking and Finance Team.

Authors: Jana Essebier,Aron Waltuch

Topics: FinTechCapital MarketsFINMAFinancial ServicesFederal Department of FinanceSwiss Financial MarketSupervisory AuthorityFederal Act on Collective Investment Schemes


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