The core responsibilities of the FMA encompass the supervision
and regulation (on behalf of the Government) of the Liechtenstein
financial market, although the FMA is independent of the Government
and of the financial market participants under its supervision.
The Law on Asset Management (Asset Management Act, AMA) entered
into force on 1 January 2006. This Act lays the foundation
for asset management companies as new, internationally recognized
financial intermediaries. The FMA supervises implementation
of the Asset Management Act and the related ordinances as
well as compliance with regulations.
In response to its inclusion on the FATF money laundering
blacklist in 2000, Liechtenstein enacted new money laundering
legislation, including a new regulation in relation to the
the law on the duty of care, which came into force on January
1 2001. The government has also abolished the existing privilege
of trustees and lawyers by which they do not have to disclose
the identity of their clients to banks where funds are invested.
On March 12, 2009, Liechtenstein recognized the OECD standard
on tax cooperation as binding. The government's goal was to
conclude and sign at least 12 Tax Information Exchange agreements
(TIEAs) by the autumn of 2009 and to advance negotiations
on additional double taxation agreements. OECD-compliant TIEAs
and double taxation agreements have been signed with the United
States, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and
Luxembourg. By the end of 2010, 23 OECD-compliant tax agreements
had been signed by Liechtenstein. Liechtenstein has also agreed
to implementation of the OECD standard as part of the multilateral
European Union Anti-Fraud Agreement and thus with all 27 member
states of the EU.
Liechtenstein has also signed a special agreement with the
UK that will give UK taxpayers with undisclosed accounts in
the Alpine jurisdiction the opportunity to disclose income
at a reduced penalty, or face having their accounts shut down.
The so-called Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility (LDF) agreement
was signed at the same time as the TIEA between the two countries.
Launched on September 1, 2009, it will run until March 31,
2015. Under the agreement, Liechtenstein financial intermediaries
will have to review all clients, identifying those who need
to confirm their tax position with the UK tax authority, HM
Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and advising them to do so within
a specific time frame.
Where a UK investor confirms to the intermediary that they
are cooperating with HMRC, the financial intermediary can
continue to provide financial services to that person. Where
a UK investor cannot confirm that they are cooperating with
HMRC, the financial intermediary must withdraw financial services
in Liechtenstein or apply various “sanctions.”
The Liechtenstein government stated at the time of the agreement
that a new law would be introduced oversee this process.