Switzerland: Quels impacts pour les GFI et les trustees ?

Last Updated: 28 November 2018
Article by Stéphanie Hodara El Bez

Le Conseil fédéral a enfin ouvert la procédure de consultation concernant les ordonnances sur la loi sur les services financiers (LSFin) et la loi sur les établissements financiers (LEFin). Elle prendra fin le 6 février 2019, étant précisé que ces deux lois et leurs ordonnances d'application entreront en vigueur le 1er janvier 2020.

L'un des grands changements amenés par ces lois concerne les gestionnaires de fortune indépendants (GFI) et les trustees, lesquels devront dorénavant être autorisés par la FINMA et seront surveillés par un organisme de surveillance (OS). La FINMA autorisera et surveillera les OS qui pourront requérir une autorisation dès l'entrée en vigueur des lois, étant précisé que plusieurs organismes d'autorégulation (OAR) se sont déjà manifestés pour annoncer la création d'entités qui déposeront une telle requête.

Le présent commentaire se concentrera sur les principales conditions d'autorisation et de surveillance des GFI et des trustees qui ressortent du projet d'Ordonnance sur les établissements financiers (P-OEFin).

Conditions d'autorisation

La LEFin définissait déjà dans les grandes lignes les conditions d'autorisation, à savoir principalement une organisation adéquate (9 LEFin), des garanties financières (22 et 23 LEFin), la garantie d'une activité irréprochable (11 LEFin) et l'affiliation à un organe de médiation (77 LSFin). Le P-OEFin apporte certains éclaircissements s'agissant de ces exigences.

Organisation adéquate

Les GFI et les trustees devront s'organiser de manière à pouvoir remplir leurs obligations légales (9 LEFin). Le P-OEFin précise néanmoins que leur organisation pourra et devra être adaptée notamment au nombre de leurs clients et au montant des valeurs patrimoniales administrées (15 P-OEFin).

S'agissant de leur direction, elle sera en principe composée d'au moins deux dirigeants qualifiés qui devront justifier d'une expérience professionnelle de cinq ans dans la gestion de fortune ou dans le cadre de trusts et d'une formation adéquate dans le domaine correspondant (18 P-OEFin).

En outre, tant les GFI que les trustees devront disposer d'une gestion des risques et d'un contrôle interne (qui inclut la fonction de compliance) (21 LEFin). Les personnes en charge de ces tâches ne seront en principe pas en droit de prendre part aux activités qu'elles surveillent (19 P-OEFin). Le P-OEFin indique pourtant que si le modèle d'affaires présente peu de risques et si certains seuils ne sont pas dépassés (5 employés au maximum et produit brut annuel inférieur à CHF 1.5 million), ces tâches ne doivent pas obligatoirement être indépendantes des activités génératrices de revenus (19 al. 2 P-OEFin). A cet égard, l'exemple cité dans le rapport explicatif demeure peu explicite, de sorte que des précisions sur ce point sont à espérer dans le cadre de la consultation. En tout état de cause, le P-OEFin confirme la possibilité d'externaliser la fonction de compliance.

Enfin, le P-OEFin prévoit des exigences supplémentaires en termes d'organisation pour les plus grandes structures (notamment si leur produit annuel brut dépasse certains seuils), comme celle d'avoir une révision interne indépendante de la direction (19 al. 3 P-OEFin) ou un conseil d'administration dont la majorité des membres ne font pas partie de l'organe responsable de la gestion (15 al. 5 P-OEFin).

Garanties financières

Le capital minimum des GFI et des trustees doit être de CHF 100'000.-, entièrement libéré et maintenu en permanence (22 LEFin).

S'agissant des fonds propres, ils devront s'élever constamment à au moins un quart des frais fixes des derniers comptes annuels, jusqu'à concurrence de CHF 10 millions (23 LEFin). Quant à la définition des éléments composant les fonds propres, elle s'inspire des règles applicables aux gestionnaires de placements collectifs (21 à 23 P-OEFin).

En sus du capital et des fonds propres, la LEFin prévoit que les GFI et les trustees devront disposer de garanties appropriées (28 LEFin). Le P-OEFin précise que ces garanties seront considérées comme appropriées, dès lors que les dispositions relatives aux fonds propres sont respectées (24 al. 1 P-OEFin). Les GFI auront néanmoins la possibilité d'opter pour la conclusion d'une assurance responsabilité civile professionnelle, dont la somme d'assurance maximale annuelle pourra être imputée pour moitié sur les fonds propres (24 al. 2 P-OEFin).

Procédure d'autorisation et surveillance

S'agissant de la procédure d'autorisation, le P-OEFin précise que les GFI et les trustees devront dans un premier temps obtenir une confirmation d'assujettissement auprès d'un OS, qu'ils seront en droit d'obtenir si leurs prescriptions internes et leur organisation garantissent le respect des prescriptions du droit de la surveillance, à savoir en particulier les obligations en matière de lutte contre le blanchiment d'argent et les dispositions de la LSFin qui leur sont applicables (13 P-OEFin).

A cet égard, il est attendu que la FINMA édicte des ordonnances, voire des modèles de requête en autorisation explicitant les informations et documents à soumettre par les GFI et les trustees.

S'agissant de la surveillance, l'OS exercera la surveillance courante selon un modèle fondé sur les risques, à savoir sur la base d'un système d'évaluation des risques propres à chaque assujetti. Ce système de notation de même que les exigences minimales concernant le modèle de surveillance seront prescrits par la FINMA, après avoir consulté les OS (10 P-OSS).

Enfin, s'agissant des délais transitoires, les GFI et trustees existants ont 6 mois pour s'annoncer à la FINMA et 3 ans pour déposer une demande en autorisation (74 LEFin).

Les GFI ne doivent pourtant pas oublier qu'ils devront satisfaire aux règles édictées par la LSFin, à savoir notamment ses règles de comportement et d'organisation, d'ici au 1er janvier 2021 et devraient déjà commencer à s'organiser en conséquence (103-107 P-OSFin).

Quant aux trustees, le rapport explicatif a apporté une précision bienvenue puisqu'il indique qu'ils ne sont pas soumis aux obligations de la LSFin, à moins que "leur activité englobe [..] la gestion de fortune" (77 P-OEFin).

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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