Whistleblowing

The FMA is responsible for examining any reports of actual or possible violations of laws falling within its scope of responsibility (Article 5 of the FMA Act). Alongside insights gained from its regular supervisory activities, such reports of violations are important sources of information for financial market supervision. This enables the FMA to actively address and combat (potential) abuses and to limit or prevent damage where possible at an early stage. Persons reporting such actual or potential violations are referred to as whistleblowers.

If the reports result in supervisory proceedings by the FMA, only the supervised financial intermediary has the status of a party under Article 31(1) of the National Administration Act (LVG). The proceedings do not give the whistleblower a right to inspect documents or to be heard, or any other subjective right to a decision.

Pursuant to European financial market regulation, which Liechtenstein must implement into national law due to its membership in the European Economic Area (EEA), the FMA has created adequate measures permitting whistleblowers to make reports about actual or possible violations.

Procedure

Whistleblowers can submit reports in writing to the FMA, either anonymously or disclosing their identity.

Two communication channels are available:

  • by email to: whistleblowing@fma-li.li; or
  • by post to: Personal/Confidential, Financial Market Authority Liechtenstein, Whistleblowing, Landstrasse 109, PO Box 279, 9490 Vaduz, Liechtenstein.

The FMA does not assume any responsibility or liability for the security of data during transmission by internet or post.

The FMA receives and reviews the reports. If the identity of the whistleblower is known and if doing so appears useful, the FMA may enter into contact with the whistleblower to obtain more precise information on the report.

Reports indicating fact patterns relevant to criminal law are forwarded to the Office of the Public Prosecutor. Reports that do not fall within the FMA's scope of responsibility are forwarded to the competent authorities.

Measures taken to clarify whether a criminal offence has occurred as well as other measures cannot be disclosed (risk of circumvention of the measure/criminal prosecution). The FMA accordingly does not inform the whistleblower of any initiated measures, irrespective of whether a criminal offence has occurred. The outcome of the report of a whistleblower is thus a supervisory measure taken by the FMA or referral to the Office of the Public Prosecutor or other competent authority.

Complaints

Whistleblowers must be distinguished from persons who wish to file a complaint with the FMA or contact the FMA to make an enquiry. A complaint usually involves a personal disadvantage in the context of a business relationship with a financial intermediary (bank, insurer, etc.) which the complainant wishes to present to the FMA. The whistleblower procedure described above is thus not a complaints procedure. The email address info@fma-li.li is available for complaints and enquiries. Further information about the FMA's competences and the procedure for filing complaints with the FMA is available here.

Confidentiality

The FMA in principle treats all information confidentially (official secrecy), unless forwarding the information is required as part of proceedings undertaken by the Office of the Public Prosecutor, the courts, or the administrative authorities. With respect to the identity of the whistleblower, this means that the FMA must in principle disclose the identity to the parties and authorities, etc., involved in one of the proceedings mentioned above (e.g. in the context of inspection of documents, etc.). The precondition for this is of course that the identity of the whistleblower is known to the FMA.

Special notes

The protective mechanisms do not apply to persons who wilfully provide false or misleading information. Defamatory reports will be prosecuted by the means provided under criminal law.

The FMA refers to any existing legal or contractual obligations.

Persons directly affected by a decree must follow the instructions on legal remedies indicated in the degree.

Data protection

The FMA processes personal data exclusively in accordance with the general data processing principles of the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC) as well as in line with Liechtenstein data protection law.

Information regarding the processing of personal data, as well as details about the processing purpose, the data controller and the rights of data subjects can be found in the FMA Privacy Policy.

 

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