The FMA uses circulars to publish its interpretation of the legal position derived from laws or regulations in relation to supervisory issues. Circulars are used to inform the public about particular requirements that, in the FMA’s opinion, can be derived from legal interpretation of the relevant laws or regulations.
The following list contains only those FMA Circulars for which an English translation exists. For an exhaustive list of all currently applicable FMA Circulars, please consult the German version of this page.
All English translation of the authentic German text is unofficial and serves merely information purposes. The official wording in German can be found at the web pages of the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA). All translations have been prepared with great care, but linguistic compromises had to be made. The reader should also bear in mind that some content of soft law like Minimum Standards, Circulars, Rules of Conduct and Compliance und Supervisory Disclosure will remain unclear without certain background knowledge of the Austrian legal and political system. Please note that both the authentic German and the translated text may be amended in future and check occasionally for updates.
The circular provides an overview of the FMA's supervisory practices to the individual aforementioned regulations contained in the WAG 2018 by communicating its legal opinions, while simultaneously aiming to provide the market with guidance about how to comply with the requirements set out in the legal regulations.
The Circular provides an overview about the main requirements in relation to the issue of personal transactions as defined in the WAG 2018 including Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/565, while also taking into consideration the FMA's legal view or supervisory practices (that have in the meantime also been confirmed by various instances or the Supreme Court). The nine principles serve as a guidance for credit institutions, and correspond to the legal rules in conjunction with the identification and monitoring of personal transactions by relevant staff members.
This Circular was drawn up jointly by the Audit Oversight Body of Austria (AOBA) and the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA), and reflects the legal view of the AOBA and the FMA, but does not constitute a Regulation and applies for public-interest entities (PIEs) and their statutory auditors as a guide for the application of Regulation (EU) No 537/2014 on specific requirements regarding the statutory audit of public-interest entities of 16 April 2014.
This circular is addressed to all insurance undertakings supervised by the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) pursuant to Article 5 no. 1 of the Insurance Supervision Act of 2016 (VAG 2016; Versicherungsaufsichtsgesetz 2016) as well as legal entities pursuant to Article 26 of the Securities Supervision Act of 2018 (WAG 2018; Wertpapieraufsichtsgesetz 2018), that design, advise or sell insurance-based investment products pursuant to Article 4 (2) of Regulation (EU) No. 1286/2014 on key information documents for packaged retail and insurance-based investment products (PRIIP-R; PRIIP Regulation). The PRIIP Regulation also generally applies for management companies pursuant to the Investment Funds Act of 2011 (InvFG 2011; Investmentfondsgesetz 2011) and alternative investment funds managers pursuant to the Alternative Investment Funds Manager Act (AIFMG; Alternative Investmentfonds Manager-Gesetz).
In this circular, the FMA publishes its legal interpretation on the scope of application and the presentation of the Key Information Document (KID) derived from the PRIIP-R and the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/653 supplementing the PRIIP-R (the Delegated Regulation) for packaged retail and insurance-based products. This circular contains the first selected interpretations in relation to the PRIIP Regulation, which entered into force on 01.01.2018.
Both Directive (EU) 2016/97 on insurance distribution (IDD; Insurance Distribution Directive) as well as Article 5 no. 63 of the draft of the Insurance Contract Act of 2017 (VersVertrG 2017-E) address the notion of the insurance-based investment product, and make provisions for additional requirements with regard to distribution, conflicts of interest and information requirements.
This FMA Circular is intended to provide credit institutions with guidance regarding the application of the provisions set forth in Article 39 para. 2 in conjunction with Article 39b of the Austrian Banking Act (BWG; Bankwesengesetz). This circular has been drawn up in consultation with the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB). Article 39 para. 2 in conjunction with Article 39b BWG including its annex form the legal basis for designing remuneration policies and practices in credit institutions and groups of credit institutions. The quoted provisions transpose Article 74 in conjunction with Articles 92-95 of Directive 2013/36/EU (CRD IV) into Austrian law.
In this circular, the FMA publishes the criteria pursuant to Article 55 para. 1 WAG 2018 (Article 25 (1) MiFID II) that are relevant for the assessment of whether persons providing investment advice on behalf of a legal entity or give information about investment products and investment services (including ancillary services), have the necessary knowledge and competence to do so. In this circular, the FMA further substantiates the criteria defined in the relevant ESMA Guidelines as well as the features required to prove an appropriate qualification to satisfy these criteria. This circular contains:
This circular (published July 2017) is addressed to all insurance undertakings supervised by the Financial Market Authority (FMA), which provide health insurance on the technical basis of life assurance. Due to the continuing trend of falling capital market interest rates and under consideration of the prudent person principle in the case of newly concluded health insurance policies of a similar nature to life assurance and for new insured persons on existing group health insurance policies, from 1 January 2018 at the latest reserve for increasing age shall be calculated using an assumed interest rate of a maximum of 1%. For group health insurance tariffs, which will only be adjusted at a subsequent point in time, the assumed interest rate shall at the latest be reduced with effect from the qualifying date for adjusting these tariffs during the 2018 financial year.
Circular letter of the FMA dated 12 December 2006 In response to recent events, this circular addresses the issue of differentiated participation in profits within a pension insurance portfolio. Persons insured in pension insurance schemes have no economically reasonable means of responding to any disadvantage (assuming they even become aware of it), so that the FMA considers it necessary to ensure that no share in the pension insurance portfolio is disadvantaged through a reduced participation in profits (cf. Article 104 of the Versicherungsaufsichtsgesetz (VAG; Insurance Supervision Act)).
Circular letter of the FMA dated 10 November 2005 Based on the letter of the Federal Ministry of Finance of 21 January 2000 concerning unit‑linked life assurance (Reference Code 9 000 600/2-V/10/00), the Financial Market Authority (FMA) is prompted to state its position on the case of insurance undertakings which have set up the Deckungsstock group for unit-linked life assurance pursuant to Article 20 para. 2 no. 3 of the Versicherungsaufsichtsgesetz (VAG; Insurance Supervision Act), specifically the conditions governing the difference between the amount of the units in investment funds of the Deckungsstock group “Unit-linked life assurance” pursuant to Article 20 para. 2 no. 3 VAG on the one hand and the amount of the technical provisions of unit-linked life assurance (cover requirement pursuant to Articles 19 and 19a VAG) on the other hand.
Circular letter of the FMA dated 10 November 2005 The 2005 amendments to the Versicherungsaufsichtsgesetz (VAG; Insurance Supervision Act), Federal Law Gazette I no. 33/2005 and Federal Law Gazette I no. 59/2005, resulted, among other things, in a change to the regulations on the statutory auditing of insurance undertakings. A brief overview of the major changes is provided below.
Circular letter of the FMA dated 29 July 2005 The FMA has been prompted to state its position on the issue of the extent to which negative risk premiums are permissible in the case of occupational group insurance products in relation to occupational disability.
Circular letter of the FMA dated 1 February 2005 The FMA has been prompted to state its position on the issue of the extent to which negative risk premiums are permissible in the case of pension company products in relation to occupational disability.
Circular letter of the FMA dated 4 January 2005 Pursuant to Article 18d para. 2 of the Versicherungsaufsichtsgesetz (VAG; Insurance Supervision Act), prior to the application of any changes in or amendments to the actuarial bases in health insurance operated according to the technical principles of life assurance, insurance undertakings must inform the FMA.
Circular letter of the FMA dated 13 December 2004 Pursuant to Article 24 para. 2 of the Versicherungsaufsichtsgesetz (VAG; Insurance Supervision Act), the responsible actuary or deputy of the responsible actuary must have the required personal qualities and the professional qualification.
Circular letter of the FMA dated 5 December 2003 The occasion for the balance sheet issues is the Austrian insurance pool for the coverage of terrorist risks. The following should be noted with regard to the provision to be established in connection with this pool.
Circular letter of the FMA dated 12 September 2003 The general legal framework for the supervision of state-sponsored retirement provision was defined as part of the 2003 amendment to the Versicherungsaufssichtsgesetz (VAG; Insurance Supervision Act), Federal Law Gazette I no. 33/2003. The corresponding changes have been in force since 1 July 2003.
Circular letter of the FMA dated 31 July 2003 The general legal framework for the supervision of state-sponsored retirement provision was defined as part of the 2003 amendment to the Versicherungsaufssichtsgesetz (VAG; Insurance Supervision Act), Federal Law Gazette I no. 33/2003. The corresponding changes have been in force since 1 July 2003.