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Italy and Switzerland sign a co-operation agreement for the supervision on financial services

On August 16, 2023, FINMA, the Swiss financial services regulator, and, on the Italian side, CONSOB and the Bank of Italy, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (the “MoU”) for the purpose of facilitating the performance of their respective functions on supervised entities, which, in the case of Italy, are the MiFID investment firms for CONSOB and the UCITS ManCo’s and AIFMs, for the Bank of Italy.

The MoU is an essential (although not the only one) step in order to allow access to the Italian market by Swiss financial intermediaries (other than those with EU affiliates authorized under the MiFID, UCITS or the AIFMD) because it is one of the mandatory legal conditions that, under the EU (e.g., Regulation 2014/600 and Regulation 2017/565) regulations and the Italian ones transposing them (e.g., article 28 of the Consolidated Textof Finance – Legislative Decree 58 of 1998 as amended), allow both (i) the delegation of the management of investment portfolios from Italian asset managers directly to Swiss portfolio managers (e.g., for Italian pension funds and “casse di previdenza”) and (ii) the Swiss investment firms to apply to the Italian regulators in order to be authorized to service Italian “per se” professional clients and eligible counterparties on a cross border basis; additionally, the MoU is one of the legal conditions for the application for establishing Italian branches of Swiss financial intermediaries in order to service Italian “elective” professional clients or retails.