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Swiss Government Takes Further Action Against Money Laundering

by Ulrika Lomas, for LawAndTax-News.com, Brussels

09 October 2006


The Swiss Federal Council late last month determined a further course of action in implementing the revised recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force on combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

The Federal Council instructed the Federal Department of Finance (FDF) to submit a dispatch by mid-2007.

In contrast to the draft consultation paper, the Council stated that the dispatch should be limited to addressing certain core points.

At the same time, the Federal Council also took the decision to remove the partial revision of insider criminal law provisions from the FATF proposal and deal with it more speedily, and therefore instructed the FDF to present a corresponding dispatch by the end of 2006.

The goal of the FATF proposal is the tailored modification of Switzerland's money laundering legislation in line with the new challenges posed by international financial crime while keeping the economic impact to a minimum. The proposal is designed to raise the conformity of Switzerland's legislation in line with the relevant international standards.

In a statement, the Finance Department explained that:

"The decision underscores the significance the Federal Council attaches to effective and economically compatible defensive strategy measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. In addition, the Federal Council today adopted a report destined for parliament, which highlights the implementation of the most important FATF Recommendations in other countries and identifies the economic consequences of their implementation in Switzerland."

"Overall the report concludes that in comparison to foreign countries, Switzerland has good defensive strategy measures in place to combat money laundering and terrorist financing."

It continued:

"In June 2003, the FATF completely revised its Recommendations for the first time since they were initially issued and updated them to take into account new forms of criminality in the areas of money laundering and terrorist financing."

"Today, Swiss legislation already broadly conforms with the majority of the new FATF standards. In certain sectors, however, current Swiss legislation on combating money laundering does diverge from the FATF Recommendations."


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