On 30 August 2023, the Swiss government proposed new measures to combat money laundering for a trustworthy and competitive Swiss financial centre and launched the consultation process.
An effective system to protect against financial crime is essential for the good reputation and sustainable success of an internationally important, secure and future-oriented financial centre and business location.
Money laundering harms the economy and jeopardises confidence in financial systems.
Switzerland's anti-money laundering framework is rated good overall by international bodies, but there are gaps. In order to remain effective, the framework must be continuously adapted to the changing risks as well as to international standards.
For this reason, the Federal Council proposes to strengthen the system. The proposed measures focus on the transparency of legal persons and the identification of their beneficial owners.
The main objective: to create more transparency so that the competent authorities can better determine who is really behind a company or other legal entity. This should in particular serve the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing and facilitate their prosecution.
Central Register for beneficial owners
A federal register will be introduced in which companies and other legal entities in Switzerland must enter details of their beneficial owners.
Due diligence for legal advice
In future, due diligence obligations under money laundering law will also apply to the exercise of certain advisory activities (in particular legal advice) that involve an increased risk of money laundering.
The revision will strengthen the prevention of and fight against financial crime. In addition, the Federal Council wants to ensure that Switzerland remains a trustworthy and competitive financial and business location. Switzerland should continue to be one of the world's leading financial centres.
The Swiss government's proposals will now go into public consultation. In 2024, the Federal Council will submit a bill to parliament.
More information: Integrity of the financial centre (admin.ch)