Regulation – New reporting duties of Swiss and foreign companies and of their shareholders: effects of the amendments to the anti-money laundering provisions

BSL Banking in Switzerland and Liechstenstein – October 2015
Frédérique Bensahel, Pierre-Olivier Etique

The new Federal Act for Implementing the Revised Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations, adopted by the Federal Chambers on 12 December 2014 (FATF Act) introduces important amendments to the Swiss anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regulations. Most of the new provisions introduced by this law are contained in the Anti-Money Laundering Act and in the Code of Obligations.

Since the publishing of the Federal Council dispatch on 13 December 2013, there has been much debate about laundering of tax fraud offence (i.e. the qualification of serious tax offences as predicate offences to money laundering), which constitutes one of the major novelties of the FATF Act; indeed, it poses delicate questions of implementation. Among the other themes covered by the amendments made, the rules on the transparency regarding legal entities and on the identification of the beneficial owners considerably affect the new players concerned.