Switzerland is taking bold strides against money laundering

Switzerland are diving into consultations for a bill designed to fortify their anti-money laundering framework, a move aimed at elevating the country’s integrity and competitiveness as a financial and business hub. The proposed measures align with global standards, introducing a federal register of beneficial owners and imposing due diligence in high-risk legal activities.

Recognizing the pivotal role of a robust system in combating financial crime, the Swiss Federal Council is determined to tackle the threats posed by money laundering and terrorist financing. Criminals often exploit legal setups to hide assets for illicit purposes like money laundering and tax evasion. To counter this, the proposed federal register aims to unveil the real faces behind these structures, promoting transparency.

Chrisol Correia, chief strategy officer at Facctum, sees this initiative as a crucial step forward. However, he stresses that the success of these measures depends on consistent enforcement and stern penalties acting as credible deterrents. He highlights the need for Switzerland to firmly address financial crime, emphasizing tighter controls and urging financial institutions to embrace a culture that actively combats financial malpractice.

Dr. Henry Balani, global head of industry and regulatory affairs at Encompass Corporation, points out the global trend of regulators intensifying their focus on money laundering. He emphasizes the importance of technology in enforcing robust KYC (Know Your Customer) processes, crucial in compliance and swift identification of financial criminals.

The proposed amendments include the establishment of a federal register, expanded due diligence in high-risk consultancy activities, and additional measures covering sanctions breaches and tighter controls on cash payments in precious metals trading and real estate transactions.

The bill’s consultation period will conclude on November 29, 2023, and the Federal Council plans to present it to Parliament in 2024.

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