Financial Services Act (FinSA) – Client information

Information on the Financial Services Act.

What does the FinSA regulate and when does it affect you?

The Swiss Financial Services Act (FinSA) entered into force on 1 January 2020. Its primary purpose is to strengthen investor protection when financial services are provided or financial instruments are offered. In particular, FinSA contains rules of conduct, including information and documentation requirements, as well as organisational measures.

FinSA applies to all financial services provided by financial service providers in Switzerland to clients who are resident in Switzerland or abroad.

The provisions of FinSA are set out in greater detail in the Financial Services Ordinance (FinSO).

A summary of some of the key information is provided below:

Financial Services

FinSA distinguishes between different types of financial services:

  • Acquisition and disposal of financial instruments
  • Receipt and transmission of orders in relation to financial instruments
  • Administration of financial instruments (portfolio management)
  •  Provision of personal recommendations on transactions with financial instruments (investment advice)
  • Granting of loans to finance transactions with financial instruments.

Information on Zürcher Kantonalbank’s investment solutions can be found here.

Client segmentation

For the purposes of providing financial services, FinSA requires financial service providers to classify their clients into different client segments: retail clients, professional clients or institutional clients. This classification is based on a person’s financial circumstances and level of knowledge, experience and financial expertise, the legally defined size of the company or the existence of a professional treasury.

Unless otherwise notified by Zürcher Kantonalbank, you are classified as a retail client and profit from the highest level of investor protection. If you meet the necessary requirements, you can request to change the client segment to which you are assigned. To do so, please contact your relationship manager.

If you are classified as a professional or institutional client, you will receive a corresponding classification letter from Zürcher Kantonalbank. As mentioned in the classification letter, please refer to the client information on client segmentation for further details on these two client segments.

Rules of conduct

Depending on the assigned client segment, different rules of conduct must be observed in the provision of financial services, reflecting the relevant level of investor protection.

Zürcher Kantonalbank will provide you with various information before you enter into a contract or use a financial service. This information should make it easier for you to decide whether you wish to use a financial service. In the case of investment advisory or portfolio management services, the Bank will assess whether these are appropriate or suitable for you (in the case of execution-only transactions, such an assessment is not done). The Bank will document the provision of services and disclose this documentation to you on request.

Information and documentation requirements

Zürcher Kantonalbank and its supervisory authority

Zürcher Kantonalbank is an independent public law institution (selbständige öffentlich-rechtliche Anstalt) established pursuant to the laws of the Canton of Zurich and of Switzerland and is subject to the Swiss Federal Law on Banks and Savings Banks (Banking Act). Its business activities are subject to ongoing supervision by FINMA, which is based in Berne (Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA, Laupenstrasse 27, 3003 Berne).

Further information on Zürcher Kantonalbank and contact details can be found here.


Zürcher Kantonalbank is affiliated to the Swiss Banking Ombudsman as an independent information and mediation centre.

Further information on the ombudsman can be found here.

Cost information

In connection with the provision of financial services, fees and costs may be incurred by the Bank and/or by third parties. Costs and fees may be charged directly to your account or may be due on the returns of a financial instrument. Detailed information on service and product costs can be found in the price overview: 

Price overview for investments (PDF, 171 KB)


Risk information

Transactions with financial instruments are associated with opportunities and risks. It is important that you understand especially the risks before using any financial services. The following brochures are available for this purpose:

Investing with Zürcher Kantonalbank (PDF, 593 KB)

Risks Involved in Trading Financial Instruments (PDF, 2 MB)

These brochures provide general information on financial services related to investments, as well as the typical risks involved in trading financial instruments. Please read this information carefully and contact your relationship manager if you have any questions.

You can also obtain the brochures from your relationship manager on request.

Product information

In addition to providing general information on the risks involved in trading financial instruments, Zürcher Kantonalbank provides product information documents such as key information documents (KIDs) or prospectuses for numerous financial instruments. The key information document contains information on product characteristics as well as the product risks and costs and makes it possible to compare different financial instruments.

Best execution

The Execution Policy sets forth how Zürcher Kantonalbank achieves the best possible result for its clients when executing orders.

Further information on the Execution Policy can be found here.

Conflicts of interests

Zürcher Kantonalbank always aims to organise its business activities in such a way that the interests of its clients, the bank and its employees are aligned as much as possible. However, as a universal bank, conflicts of interest cannot always be avoided. Zürcher Kantonalbank addresses such conflicts of interest transparently and professionally in compliance with the relevant legal requirements and based on the rules set out in the Code of Conduct of Zürcher Kantonalbank. It has internal policies and processes in place to manage conflicts of interest and takes measures to prevent conflicts of interest from having an adverse impact on its clients to the extent possible.

Further information on how Zürcher Kantonalbank deals with conflicts of interest, as well as information on the selected measures, can be found here. You can also obtain the documents from your relationship manager on request.

Last updated: January 2022