CEO of Swiss regulator FINMA, Patrick Raaflaub, to resign

Raaflaub oversaw the requirement of Swiss Forex brokers to receive a bank license, reshaping the industry.

Switzerland’s financial regulator FINMA has announced that its longtime CEO Patrick Raaflaub has resigned, and will be replaced on an interim basis by FINMA Deputy CEO Mark Branson. FINMA’s Board of Directors has initiated a formal search for a new CEO.

Raaflaub oversaw the 2009 merger of three Swiss regulatory bodies – the Federal Office of Private Insurance, the Swiss Federal Banking Commission, and the Anti-Money Laundering Control Authority – to form the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, or FINMA.

One of the first changes enacted by FINMA under Raaflaub was requiring online trading firms to apply for a Swiss banking license, with its required minimum capital of CHF 15 million, or approximately $17 million, although effectively a banking license usually requires significantly more capital.

That change reshaped the Forex industry in Switzerland. Pre-change, there were more than a dozen retail forex brokers in Switzerland. After the merger of some of the smaller ones, only two retail forex brokers were actually granted a Swiss bank license by the late-2010 deadline — MIG Bank and Dukascopy. One of the turned-down brokers, ACM, was acquired for $43 million by Swissquote, Switzerland’s leading online equities broker which already had a Swiss bank license. Swissquote has since acquired MIG Bank, buying its Swiss rival for $70 million late last year.

To see the FINMA press release click here.

For more on the global Forex industry see the LeapRate-Dow Jones Forex Industry Report. 

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