Statement from the SBA regarding the implementation of the revised recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

The SBA generally supports the adoption and implementation of international standards such as the recommendations of the FATF. The draft does, however, require a number of amendments in order for the banks to be able to implement it:

  • The FATF’s guidelines are based on the premise of a serious criminal offence. This is to be expressed in the qualifying criteria. In addition to the threshold of minimum CHF 600,000, we are therefore calling for the introduction of a further qualifying criterion – multiple offences.
  • The SBA emphatically rejects the general intent to deceive as a qualifying criterion for tax evasion. As this is a subjective criterion with a broad scope for interpretation, it is impossible for the banks to recognise the personal motives of a client. All criteria must therefore be both objectively and outwardly identifiable.
  • The banks are now not only required to identify the beneficial owner, as was the case to date, but also the shareholder, that is the holder of bearer shares or voting rights that controls unlisted companies. We reject this, as the identification process will result in an excessive outlay for banks and financial intermediaries. However, it is also important to find a solution with regards to bearer shares in order for Switzerland to pass the OCDE’s Peer Review.
  • The SBA categorically rejects the additional duty to investigate and due diligence duties which arise from the financial intermediaries through the mandatory processing of cash transactions of over CHF 100,000. This would in some instances give rise to the banks assuming responsibility that should correctly lie with the parties involved in the cash transaction.