FATF: Measures to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation in Switzerland
The FATF conducted an assessment of Switzerland’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) system, based on the 2012 FATF Recommendations. This assessment reviews both the level of effectiveness of Switzerland’s AML/CFT regime as well as its level of technical compliance with the FATF Recommendations. Since its previous FATF assessment in 2005, Switzerland has strenghtened its AML/CFT regime. These efforts rest on a clear political will to promote the integrity of its financial center. In line with this, legal reforms have taken place in order to meet the requirements of the FATF Recommendation, and to address the significant money laundering risks that Switzerland faces.
On the operational side, law enforcement authorities have demonstrated the effectiveness of their investigative methods and of the mutual legal assistance they provide in the context of international money laundering cases. A number of these investigations related to grand corruption cases and led to the repatriation of considerable amounts to affected countries.
Supervisory authorities continuously monitor financial institutions and regulated non-financial entities following a risk-based approach. The assessment team encourages authorities to strengthen their control with regard to the obligation to report suspicious transactions, in particular for financial institutions. Furthermore, the sanctions applied for failure to comply with AML/CFT requirements, both to natural and legal persons, must be commensurate to the seriousness of the misconduct identified and should prompt other institutions to reconsider their policies when necessary.
Switzerland demonstrates a strong commitment to mutual legal assistance. It should continue to pursue its efforts on all other forms of international cooperation, including on the supervision of financial groups given the key role of the Swiss financial centre.
Swiss authorities have recently adopted measures to address some of these concerns. These developments are welcome and Swiss authorities are encouraged to ensure an effective implementation of these new legal provisions.
The report was adopted by the FATF at the October 2016 Plenary meeting.