• Switzerland's news in English

British expat tipped as FINMA’s new CEO

Malcolm Curtis · 15 Jan 2014, 23:31

Published: 15 Jan 2014 23:31 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Raaflaub, who has held the job since FINMA’s creation five years ago, said he wanted to find a “new challenge” after an “exciting and intensive” period at the head manager of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority.

FINMA said Raaflaub was leaving of his own accord and regretted the decision.

It said Branson, a former UBS banker who was FINMA’s deputy CEO, will take over the authority’s management as of February “until further notice”.

The Briton, a graduate of Trinity College Cambridge, was appointed head of FINMA’s banks division in January 2010.

He began his career with consultants Coopers & Lybrand before moving to Credit Suisse in London, where he became head of the customer support department.

Branson later joined SBC Warburg before becoming CEO of UBS Securities Japan in 2006, and was later appointed chief financial officer in 2008 of the wealth management and Swiss bank division of UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank.

He rode out calls from some Swiss politicians to quit FINMA at the end of 2012 when UBS’s Japanese unit pleaded guilty to wire fraud as part of a settlement with the US Department of Justice.

Branson was in charge of the unit from 2006 to 2008 but he stepped aside from FINMA’s investigation of the fraud case, involving bids to manipulate various benchmark rates.

The financial regulator has launched a procedure to select a new CEO with Branson tipped by some observers as a top candidate for the position.

“Mark Branson masters the subjects better than Patrick Raaflaub,” Christian Lüscher a Liberal federal MP from Geneva told Le Temps newspaper.

Story continues below…

Raaflaub, a former Swiss Re executive, was praised for his accomplishments by Anne Héretier Lachat, who chairs FINMA’s board of directors.

“The fact that FINMA has drawn on lessons learnt from the crisis in a focused and successful way is due in no small measure to Patrick Raaflaub,” Héretier Lachat said.

FINMA resulted from the merger of three authorities — the Swiss Federal Banking Commission, the Federal Office of Private Insurance and the Anti-Money Laundering Control Authority.

But its birth occurred in a tense atmosphere, with UBS needing a bailout from the federal government and the Swiss National Bank after sustaining massive losses linked to the global financial crisis.

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Villagers asked to help fund bridge renovations
The bridge links the two villages of Veltheim (pictured) and Holderbank. Photo: Lutz Fischer-Lamprecht

The crowdfunding campaign by the two communes is the first of its kind in Switzerland.

Police discover body buried in Orbe house
File photo: Bas Leenders

Police have opened an investigation after finding a body buried in a house in Orbe, in the canton of Vaud, on Saturday.

Valais shaken by 4.2 magnitude earthquake
The earthquake hit in the canton of Valais near Sierre. Photo: Alain Rouiller

It's the biggest earthquake to hit the country for two years.

Swiss Indoors kicks off without champ Federer
Federer celebrates with ball girls and boys after winning the event in 2015. Photo: Harold Cunningham/Pool/AFP

Stan Wawrinka is top seed as injured Federer sits it out.

IOC hires Russian doping whistleblower as consultant
IOC President Thomas Bach confirmed the news. File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has hired Vitaly Stepanov as a consultant and is helping his runner wife Yuliya.

‘Scary clown’ craze hits streets of Zurich
Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP

Police in Zurich have warned so-called ‘scary clowns’ that they could face charges, following a number of incidents in the city.

VIDEO: driver chases runaway car on Swiss motorway
Image: Neuchâtel police

Shocking footage shows the moment a man dodged lorries to chase after his runaway car on a Swiss motorway.

Saas-Fee crowdfunds low-cost season ski pass
Saas-Fee is hoping to attract 99,999 season pass holders. Photo: Denis Emery/Photo-genic.ch

Skiers could get their hands on a whole season pass for just 222 francs ($223) in the Swiss resort of Saas Fee this winter – if enough people want one.

Swiss billionaire fined for dodging import tax
Urs Schwarzenbach owns the luxury Dolder Grand hotel in Zurich. Photo: Wilhem Rosenkranz

Urs Schwarzenbach faces a $4 million fine for failing to properly declare some 200 artworks imported into Switzerland.

Muslim woman wins headscarf court battle
Photo: Jack Guez / AFP

A Swiss court has ruled against a company that fired a longtime employee after she began wearing the Muslim headscarf.

Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Photo: file
Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Photo: Royal Savoy
In pictures: Inside the latest Swiss luxury hotel
Photo: AFP
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
jobs available