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Client segmentation

FinSA stipulates that financial service providers must classify their clients into retail clients, professional clients or institutional clients. Institutional clients are a defined subset of professional clients and include banks, insurance companies and other financial intermediaries subject to prudential supervision in Switzerland or abroad.

Opting In and Opting Out
Below please find an overview of the different client categories and the corresponding levels of client protection:

Client category Client Protection Level
Institutional Clients:
a) Financial Intermediaries as defined in the Banking Act of 8 November 1934 (BankA), the Financial Institutions Act of 15 June 2018 (FinIA) and the Collective Investment Schemes Act (CISA)
b) Insurance Companies as defined in the Swiss Insurance Act (ISA)
c) Foreign Financial Intermediaries and Insurance Companies subject to prudential supervision as mentioned in a) and b)
d) Central Banks
e) National and Supranational public entities with professional treasury operations
The financial service provider is neither bound to the duty to provide information, duty to review, duty to document, rendering of account nor transparency and conduct rules with regard to client orders.
Professional Clients:
a) Occupational pension schemes with professional treasury operations
b) Occupational pension institutions providing professional treasury operations
c) Companies with professional treasury operations
d) Large companies which exceed two of the following parameters:
a. balance sheet total of CHF 20 million;
b. turnover of CHF 40 million;
c. equity of CHF 2 million. e) Private investment structures with professional treasury operations created for high-net-worth retail clients.
The financial service provider is bound to comprehensive transparency and conduct rules with regard to client orders and limited duty of review rules with regard to the assessment of appropriateness and the assessment of suitability, unless professional clients do not expressively release financial service providers from these rules.
Private or Retail Clients: Clients, that are not professional clients (Art. 4 para 2 FinSA) The financial service provider has to fully comply with the conduct rules according to FinSA.

Please note that HSBC Asset Management (Switzerland) AG does not service Private Clients.

Which possibilities do you have in terms of Opting In and Opting Out.
FinSA provides a range of Opting In and Opting Out possibilities for clients of financial services providers, whereby the following options are available to them:

Current Client Segment Opting In and Opting Out Declaration by the Client New Client Segment
Private Clients

Opting Out is possible if,

  1. institutional clients possess the necessary knowledge to understand the risks associated with the investments on the basis of training, education and professional experience or on the basis of comparable experience in the financial sector and
  2. if institutional clients have at their disposal assets of at least CHF 500,000

Opting Out, since private clients have at their disposal assets of at least CHF 2 million and therefore are high-net-worth retail clients
Opting Out for private investment structures with professional treasury operations created for high-net-worth retail clients

Professional Client
Professional Clients Opting In Private Client

Opting Out for Public entities with professional treasury operations.
Opting Out for occupational pension schemes with professional treasury operations and other occupational pension institutions providing professional treasury operations
Opting Out for companies with professional treasury operations
Opting Out for Swiss and foreign collective investment schemes and their management companies which are not already deemed to be institutional clients
Institutional Client
Institutional Client Opting In Professional Client

Should you wish to change your classification category in any of the mentioned categories, we kindly ask you to contact us.