In its review of the year 2023, the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters lists the most important events for Switzerland in international financial and tax matters and provides information on the status of current regulatory projects.
A sound and stable financial centre is very important for Switzerland's competitiveness as a global leading location. The State Secretariat for International Finance (SIF) drew up key proposals on both of these aspects in 2023: In March, the stability of the financial system was put to the test. For the first time since the introduction of the too-big-to-fail regulations, a global systemically important bank, Credit Suisse, found itself on the brink of collapse.
Thanks to the close collaboration between the Federal Department of Finance (FDF), the Swiss National Bank and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, a collapse with unforeseeable consequences for the Swiss economy and national and international financial stability was avoided. UBS took over Credit Suisse, backed by state guarantees. UBS has since decided not to avail itself of any state-guaranteed liquidity assistance, or the state loss protection guarantee in the amount of CHF 9 billion. Taxpayers incurred no losses from these guarantees. In fact, the Confederation earned around CHF 200 million in interest and premia.
Money laundering and terrorism financing pose a serious threat to the integrity of financial systems worldwide. The Federal Council is therefore constantly adapting the statutory framework to protect the financial centre. New provisions on up-to-date client data entered into force on 1 January. Moreover, in August, the Federal Council initiated a consultation on legislative amendments in this regard. The aim is to strengthen the fight against money laundering with a federal register of beneficial owners of firms, due diligence for particularly risky activities in legal professions, and other measures. The proposed measures are in line with international standards.
In addition, Switzerland and the United Kingdom signed a financial services agreement on 21 December: For the first time, two major financial centres are enabling or facilitating cross-border business for a broad range of financial services based on mutual recognition, while maintaining the protection objectives of financial market legislation.
You can find information on this and other SIF activities review report on the SIF website.
Review on international financial and tax matters (admin.ch)