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Switzerland Begins To Implement FATF Revisions

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Switzerland’s Federal Council has recently commenced work on implementing the latest Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations, according to the Swiss Federal Department of Finance (FDF).

The FDF said that the Federal Council has now taken note of and welcomed the revised international recommendations to combat financial crime, and has appointed an inter-departmental working group under the leadership of the finance ministry to draw up recommendations on implementing the FATF revisions together with a consultation draft by the start of 2013.

On February 16, 2012, the FATF approved a partial revision of its standards on combating money laundering, terrorist financing and now also the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Switzerland, which has been a member of the FATF since it was founded in Paris in 1989, was actively involved in the revisions.

The main changes are as follows:

  • Serious tax crimes will qualify as a predicate offence for money laundering;
  • Clarification of the provisions on determining the beneficial owner of legal entities (in particular of legal entities with bearer shares) and trusts;
  • Additional inclusion of domestic politically-exposed persons (PEPs) in the current recommendations;
  • A new standard on implementing targeted financial sanctions within the scope of UN resolutions to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; and
  • Establishment of a risk-based approach as the most efficient instrument for combating financial crime.
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