The FMA Liechtenstein supervises a financial centre with strong international links. Most of the clients and markets of Liechtenstein financial intermediaries are located abroad. The globalization of financial markets entails great challenges for supervisory authorities and has resulted in stronger cooperation across national borders in recent years.
The FMA Liechtenstein's international cooperation is strongly shaped by Liechtenstein's membership in the European Economic Area (EEA). As an EEA member, Liechtenstein is required to implement all EU legal acts relating to financial services into national law. Basically the same legal framework thus applies to Liechtenstein as to the countries of the EU. This means that Liechtenstein financial institutions enjoy direct access to the EEA single market. They benefit from the EU passport, a system allowing providers of financial services already licensed in the EEA to offer their services in other EEA countries without additional approval requirements.
Due to Liechtenstein's EEA membership, the FMA Liechtenstein is also closely involved in the European financial supervision structure. The FMA Liechtenstein has the status of a non-voting member in all three European Supervisory Authorities: the European Banking Authority (EBA), the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).
Global integration of the FMA
The FMA Liechtenstein is moreover a member of the most important global supervisory bodies. These include the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) and the International Organisation of Pension Supervisors (IOPS). Relations with the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) are maintained especially within the framework of the biennial International Conference of Banking Supervisors (ICBS).
Anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism
In the field of AML/CFL, the FMA Liechtenstein is represented in the Moneyval committee of the Council of Europe. As an FATF-Style Regional Body, Moneyval monitors compliance of its member states with the FATF standards. The member states are non-OECD countries that are members of the Council of Europe.
Alongside multilateral cooperation in European and global bodies, the FMA also maintains contacts with various foreign partner authorities. Of particular importance in this connection are countries where parent companies or subsidiaries of Liechtenstein financial institutions are located. Bilateral cooperation is necessary in this regard especially for purposes of consolidated supervision. Bilateral relations with Switzerland are particularly close also due to the Currency Treaty.
The FMA's active participation in supervisory bodies and its cultivation of bilateral contacts promotes not only the effectiveness of supervision of internationally operating institutions and financial service providers, but also contributes to the international reputation of the Liechtenstein financial centre. This is a significant precondition for the access of Liechtenstein financial service providers to foreign markets.