Fintech Market Overview

This article does not constitute legal advice.

Crowdfunding in Switzerland


In general, fintech companies can market their products and services under the same rules as established financial service providers. However, there are restrictions if the company seeks funds and contacts more than 20 investors (see Section II.i).1

Collective investment schemes governed by the CISA refer to assets gathered from investors for collective investment, which are managed on their behalf in order to meet the requirements of all investors evenly. Open-ended collective investment schemes are set up under company or contract law, whereas closed systems are brought about under company law only. If a limited stock company takes the form of a collective investment scheme and is either listed or involves qualified investors only, then no permit is required.1

Crowdfunding is allowed without necessitating a licence. However, if crowdfunding assets are pooled and managed by a third party, according to principles of equal treatment and with investors in mind, then the activity would be categorised as a collective investment scheme under the CISA. The provisos of the CISA would therefore have to be respected.1

Crowd-lending, often referred to as peer-to-peer lending, is generally not subject to regulation. However, depending on its structure, it might fall within the range of the Banking Act, Financial Market Infrastructure Act (FIA) or Anti Money Laundering Act (AMLA), among other rules. Furthermore, a consumer credit agreement describes a contract whereby a creditor gives or pledges to grant credit with a limit of 80,000 Swiss francs to someone classified as a consumer in the form of delayed payment or loan. As such, in cases where crowd-lending activities concern a qualified consumer, all conditions applicable according to the Consumer Credit Agreement (CCA) must be respected; for instance, the maximum interest rate for these types of credits is currently 10 per cent.1

Crowdfunding and crowd-lending platforms don't require licensing if the investors send their funds to projects directly and not through the platform. However, transferring funds through the platform's accounts can only be done without a banking license under certain conditions - non-interest bearing account, limiting funds on the account to a maximum of 60 days and informing clients of the lack of license. Additionally, registration with an SRO is necessary in order to meet AML obligations.1

The project developer may qualify as a bank if it accepts more than 20 loans and the amount exceeds 1 million Swiss francs.1

AML laws must be followed when trading loans on secondary markets. However, transferring a loan requires either transferring the contract or assigning the claim. A claim can only be assigned in writing; in other words, with a handwritten or electronic signature of the assignor (DLT tokens have special rules).1

Banking in Switzerland

Fintech in Switzerland

Fintech in other countries

Let's introduce you

Swiss Fintech Lawyers

Maxim Minaev

Maxim Minaev

We provide legal and organizational services for the creation, structuring and development of fintech companies

Kristina Berkes

Kristina Berkes

Participation as a lawyer at investment venture funds, leading venture M&A deals in IT, supporting iGaming and business assets

  1. https://thelawreviews.co.uk/title/the-financial-technology-law-review/switzerland