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Client Categorisation

Regulations and compliance are a vital part of our business. SFC is regulated by the FCA, The Financial Conduct Authority. We at Swiss Finance Corporation Limited are required under MiFID to categorise you as an Eligible Counterparty, Professional Client or Retail Client so that when carrying out business with you we can provide the level of information, services and protection that is appropriate to and consistent with your categorization.

Please read the overview below to see which classification applies to you. Before you apply, it is important to read our account agreements. Our Pillar 3 disclosures, Treat customers fairly, Conflict of interest and Anti money laundering policy are also available on our documents area.

What is Mifid?

The European Union has introduced new legislation designed to harmonise investor protection and increase transparency in the investment markets in Europe. This legislation is the Directive on the Markets in Financial Instruments (MiFID) and member states in the European Economic Area are required to implement it through their national laws. One of the main consequences of MiFID is that entities carrying on investment business are subject to specific regulatory requirements, including obligations to protect investors or clients. A fundamental part of this regulatory framework is the requirement to categorise clients.

How does the client categorisation work?

Professional Client: Should you wish to be classified as Professional Client and decrease your level of regulatory protection, then you must meet at least two (2) of the following MFID criteria;

1. You, the client has made transactions of a significant size in the relevant market 10 times per quarter in average during the four preceding quarters,
2. The size of the your financial portfolio, defined as comprising cash in hand and financial instruments, exceeds an amount equivalent to EU 500 000,
3. You, the client works or has worked in the financial sector for at least one year in a position for which knowledge of the relevant transactions and investment services is required.

Eligible Counterparty: If you are investment firm, credit institution, bank, insurance company, UCITS and their management companies, other regulated financial institution, Pension fund, Commodity and commodity derivative dealer, you will be categorized as Eligible Counterparty.

Retail Client: Retail Clients have the highest level of regulatory protection. All retail client funds are fully segregated in accordance with FCA rules. If you are not falling within the above categories and required criteria, by default, you will be treated as retail client.

When Can I start Trading?

Our compliance department will review the account forms together with the required supporting documentation for the due diligence process as soon as they receive them. If all the documentation is in order and you will then be formally informed in writing of your account opening details and your account will be ready to be funded.

What do I need for supporting documentation if I am an individual?

These are clearly stated on page 3 of our Retail and Professional Client account forms. However, please also find them below:
In order to comply with the increasing money laundering regulations in the United Kingdom, we are obliged by law to obtain the following documents, prior to opening an account on your behalf.

1. Proof of Identity. Please provide us with a copy of an official government issued photo ID that contains your name, unique personal number (alternatively your date of birth and place of birth), photo and signature. This could be a passport, driving license or national ID card.
2. Proof of Residency. Please provide us with a proof of your permanent residential address. This must contain your name, address, city and country of residence. This could be a social security card, bank statement, or a utility bill.

If you are a non UK resident you will need a certified photo driving licence or a current Passport, and proof of address (less than 3 months old). Please note that where certified copies are required, these must be certified before a Notary, Bank Manager, Solicitor or any legally recognized entity, unless the client is known personally to a member of the staff of Swiss Finance Corporation, in which case that member of staff can certify these documents him/herself.

What supporting documentation do I need if I am a company?

These are clearly stated on page 3 of our Retail and Professional Client account forms. However, please also find them below:

If the account is to be established in the name of a company or LLP please provide:

a) Copy of the most recent set of audited financial statements (if not available please provide an original (or certified copy) of a recent bank statement or utility bill, evidencing the company’s or LLP’s address).
b) A certificate of incorporation
c) A copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association or similar document
d) Documentary evidence of authorized signatories and specimen of their signatures
e) A copy of the resolution authorising a foreign exchange margin/netting account to be opened with Swiss Finance Corporation Limited and authorising the signatory who is to sign the account forms
f) For one director and one influential shareholder provide:
-A clear signature sample
-One original (or certified copy) of a utility bill or bank statement
-Certified copy of passport
-Social Security number equivalent (US only)

How do I transfer funds to and from my account at SFC?

You can only fund your account once you are informed by our compliance department that your account has been opened and is ready to be funded. We can only accept bank transfers as means of funding your account and the funds must be coming from your bank account. We do not accept or make any 3rd party payments. All transfers will be affected only between the client’s bank account and SFC trading account. Our accounts department will inform you of our specific banking details for your chosen nominated currency margin deposit. For your guidance, SFC maintains its client deposit accounts at RBS, London.

What is the minimum initial deposit requirement?

SFC has always been dealing with the institutional client base as well as non-institutional clients with certain minimum account thresholds. However, the dynamics of electronic trading environment has now enabled SFC to lower the thresholds for our minimum deposit requirements for smaller investors. As a result we are able to extend our services to smaller account sizes through our electronic trading solutions. We now have lowered our initial minimum deposit requirement to USD 50 000 or equivalent in GBP, EUR or CHF.

What are the margin rates at SFC?

Our non-institutional clients trade with SFC through ‘Margin Account’ facility. This simple account structure enable them to cover all the currency, precious metal and option trading for their speculative, hedging and conversion requirements under one account. Our margin rates are from 5 pct.

How do Institutional Clients trade with SFC?

Our institutional client base trades with SFC through our ‘Netting Account’ structures. We facilitate our institutional clients with ‘Trading Lines’. The trading lines are mutually agreed and authorised by the credit committees of each party. Some of our client base also trade with us through ‘Prime Broker Bank’. In such cases, the both parties do not go through any trading line arrangements and use ‘A Prime Broker Bank’ that SFC and the client already have existing trading lines for. All the trades are given up through the prime broker bank. It is simple to arrange with ‘Three Party Agreements’. We actively use RBS, UBS and Deutsche bank as prime broker banks.

Start trading with SFC

If you would like to enjoy an un-biased trading service and request an access to our services, please contact us by registering your interest using our on-line contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your requirements further. If you need help with your application please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

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