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All companies and legal entities in Switzerland, including lawyers and notaries, will have to disclose beneficial owners in a future Federal Disclosure Register, in order to make it more difficult to launder money or evade penalties. This is the initial bill proposal sent by the Swiss government for consultation until November 29. Finance Minister Karin Keller-Sutter said the planned measures were in line with international standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The minister believes that the equipment available to the union to combat money laundering is good. However, there are still gaps that “we intend to fill by adapting to international standards in this matter.” With more transparency, he added, the prosecution authorities will be able to identify who is behind the legal structure faster and more effectively.
Register of board members and shareholders
The project envisages that the register, in which persons exercising the function of directors or shareholders in a fiduciary relationship must also be registered, will be maintained by the Ministry of Justice and the Police. A supervisory body linked to the Ministry of Finance (which already deals with the commercial registry) will be responsible for conducting inspections and imposing penalties for any violations. The registration will not be public. In addition to the competent authorities, financial intermediaries, advisors subject to money laundering law and lawyers carrying out activity subject to due diligence obligations will have access to it.
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