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Financial service providers need authorisation

Customers in need of different financial services (ie banking, insurance or investment services) can nowadays select the one most suitable to their needs from among a large number of service providers in the market. From the customer’s point of view, however, the provision of a diverse range of services may be confusing, because no clear borders between lines of business necessarily exist. For example, a bank branch may offer insurance services and a service point of an insurance company may handle investment-related matters. A service provider may offer its services or products through an agent.

Financial market integration and technological developments have increased the opportunity for customers to select their service provider. At the same time, the risks related to selecting a service provider have increased. It is therefore important for the customer to be careful in choosing a service provider, particularly as regards service providers with which the customer has had no previous experience.

Any service provider operating in the banking, insurance or investment industries will, as a rule, need either authorisation for or registration of its activities. These pages present the types of service provider operating in the financial markets to which FIN-FSA grants authorisation or whose operations are registered, and whose activities are supervised by FIN-FSA.

The pages also contain warning lists of service providers whose procedures are being investigated for appropriateness, or whose possibly questionable activities have been drawn to FIN-FSA’s attention by a foreign supervisory authority.

Authorised service providers are subject to supervision

In order to provide financial services in Finland, both domestic and foreign entities must either obtain authorisation from an appropriate authority or must be registered as a service provider. Being an authorised service provider means the service provider is subject to supervision. The supervising authority may be either FIN-FSA or a comparable foreign supervisory authority. Supervisory authorities monitor the operations of the entities they supervise and establish whether they fulfil the requirements incumbent on them as authorised service providers.

The entities supervised by FIN-FSA include Finnish

  • deposit banks (eg commercial banks, member banks in the amalgamation of cooperative banks, local cooperative banks, savings banks and limited liability savings banks)
  • financing institutions (eg some finance companies and credit card companies as well as the Mortgage Society of Finland and mortgage banks)
  • investment firms
  • fund management companies
  • insurance companies (non-life insurance companies, life insurance companies, employee pension companies, industry-wide pension funds and company pension funds)
  • other entities in the insurance sector (eg insurance intermediaries, unemployment funds and sickness and benefit funds)
  • payment institutions.

FIN-FSA monitors the state of the financial markets and the entities supervised by it, the information provided to customers and investors and the practices observed by them. Supervision is focused on the highest-risk market participants, products and business models.

You can obtain further information on FIN-FSA supervision via the link on the right of the page (See the ‘more’ link). Authorisation or registration of a service provider can be checked in our lists of supervised entities and notifications.

Foreign service providers

FIN-FSA also participates, to a limited extent, in the supervision of foreign service providers with branches in Finland or providers that provide cross-border services in Finland.

The single-licence principle applies within the European Economic Area (EEA). Accordingly, a service provider that is authorised to operate in a single EEA country can conduct its authorised operations in all EEA countries. The provision of services in another EEA country is conditional on notifying the respective authorities. Our list of notifications provides details of those services providers who have registered to operate in Finland.

Service providers from outside the EEA countries must acquire FIN-FSA authorisation or marketing permission, or register. Information on authorised non-EEA companies is available in our lists of supervised entities and notifications.

In respect of a foreign service provider not included in FIN-FSA’s list of supervised entities or list of notifications, authorisation can be checked directly through the supervisory authority in the service provider’s home country.

 

 

28 March 2014

Financial Supervisory Authority - Snellmaninkatu 6, P.O. Box 103, 00101 Helsinki - Tel. +358 9 183 51   kirjaamo(at)finanssivalvonta.fi  |  Disclaimer  |  About the site  
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