BaFin Mission Statement
The primary objective of the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) is to ensure and promote the proper functioning, stability and integrity of Germany as a financial centre within the context of European integration and international cooperation as well as to strengthen collective consumer protection through its regulatory actions. In its mission statement, BaFin defines its responsibilities and objectives as the integrated financial supervisor for one of the world's most important financial and capital markets.
BaFin is the integrated supervisory authority for Germany’s financial market. It is responsible for supervising credit institutions, financial services providers, asset management companies, insurance undertakings, pension funds (supervised entities) and securities trading.
BaFin sees itself as a forward-looking, risk-oriented supervisory authority. It acts decisively and judiciously to contribute to the proper functioning, stability and integrity of the German financial system in a European and international context, thus fulfilling its statutory mandate, which also includes collective consumer protection, to the best of its ability.
Germany is an open economy and as such benefits from an efficient and stable European and international financial system. BaFin believes that, as an integral part of this system, it therefore has a responsibility to join with the other national and European supervisory authorities in contributing to harmonised financial market regulation and supervision and providing an impetus for its further development.
Membership of the European System of Financial Supervisors, convergence of the international financial markets and developments on the capital and financial markets always present new challenges. In order to address those challenges, BaFin uses the following principles as a compass to guide its supervisory activities:
A focus on systemic importance and risk
BaFin fosters and ensures confidence in the integrity of the market by identifying market trends and preventing or eliminating shortcomings. As a risk-oriented supervisor, it focuses its supervisory activities on both the potential macroeconomic risk and the microeconomic risk associated with the entities it oversees, as well as collective consumer interests, and develops risk mitigation solutions. It makes the knowledge gained from its microprudential supervision available for macroprudential analyses and studies. BaFin pursues a principle-based approach and regulates “as much as necessary, but as little as possible”.
A distinctly European and international identity
At the European and international levels, BaFin is an expert, constructive and reliable partner in matters of financial market regulation. It is crucial for BaFin to play a role in European and international organisations, bodies and committees. It represents Germany and champions the creation of a stable European and international supervisory system.
Collective consumer protection
Where shortcomings from a supervisory perspective are likely, or have already occurred, BaFin takes appropriate and necessary measures to protect collective consumer interests. It works together with the European supervisory authorities and consumer protection organisations on specific consumer issues and informs consumers about general topics with a bearing on collective consumer protection. It warns the public if it learns of unauthorised business activities.
The provision of specialist advice to national, European and international decision-makers
Solvency and market supervision as well as collective consumer protection are BaFin’s core competencies. As the German financial supervisory authority and an integral part of the European System of Financial Supervisors, BaFin has considerable technical and methodological expertise. It sees it as its job to contribute this expertise and its experience to the development of efficient financial market regulation. BaFin aims to be an expert adviser to national, European and international decision-makers.
Clarity and transparency
BaFin always makes its supervisory activities clear and transparent. These supervisory activities are consistent and predictable. It is in constant dialogue with the entities it oversees as well as consumer protection institutions and is a reliable point of contact.
Highly qualified staff
BaFin’s capabilities are determined by the skills and motivation of its staff. It is essential for it to recruit and nurture highly qualified staff. Supervisory activity has become more international as Europe has converged and global financial markets have grown increasingly interconnected. Enhancing the skills its staff require is therefore a high priority for BaFin.
BaFin considers it important to offer its staff an environment in which they would be happy to have a long career. On an interpersonal level, considerable emphasis is placed on team spirit and mutual respect.
BaFin maintains a culture of open discussion in an atmosphere of trust and nurtures the ability at all levels to handle criticism and learn from mistakes.