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Berlin hires Swiss Finma chief to head Germany's finance watchdog

Mark Branson, who holds both Swiss and British nationality, became head of Finma in April 2014 after holding various positions there since 2010. Keystone / Peter Klaunzer

Mark Branson, the head of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma), is due to become president of the German finance regulator BaFin.

This content was published on March 22, 2021 - 18:14
Keystone-SDA/Reuters/Finma/sb

On Monday Finma issued a statementExternal link confirming earlier news reports that Branson, 52, who has led Finma since 2014, was taking on the German role from mid-2021.

He is due to assume the position currently held by Felix Hufeld, who is leaving at the end of the month after coming under pressure for failing to spot wrongdoing ahead of the collapse of the payments company Wirecard.

Branson, a banker-turned-regulator, will help give BaFin "more bite", German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said. "Trust in Germany's financial centre is important and BaFin is a key factor in that trust."

Branson, who holds both Swiss and British nationality, became head of Finma in April 2014 after holding various positions there since 2010. He previously worked at Credit Suisse, SBC Warburg and UBS.

“Mark Branson played a decisive role in building up the authority and establishing it both nationally and internationally and his appointment is testament to its international recognition. Finma’s Board of Directors very much regrets his decision and thanks Mark Branson for his enormous and successful dedication to Finma over many years,” it said in a statement on Monday.

Jan Blöchliger will take over the operational leadership from 1 May 2021, Finma said.

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