SBA position on the discussion within the Financial Action Taskforce (FATF) on making tax offences qualify as a predicate offence for money laundering

  • The SBA has undertaken a re-positioning of the Swiss financial centre with the goal of making business models focus on acquiring funds that are tax-compliant. With a view to achieving this, Switzerland has adopted the OECD's global standard on administrative assistance in tax matters. At the same time Switzerland is offering to implement a comprehensive withholding tax system for foreign countries. This system is equivalent to - and more efficient than - automatic information exchange.
  • The fight against money laundering and organised crime must be continued in an efficient manner and here both Switzerland and the SBA are in the forefront of international cooperation. However, these efforts will be undermined should a string of less serious offences be turned into predicate offences for money laundering. Not only the anti-money laundering authorities but also financial institutions with a reporting duty will be overstretched.
  • By definition, tax offences have nothing to do with money laundering. As far as fighting tax offences is concerned, well-functioning established procedures (administrative assistance) already exist and these are defined in international treaties and agreements.
  • The SBA expects the Swiss authorities to resolutely represent these views in the relevant international organisations.