Swiss Transparency Register to Combat Money Laundering

Swiss Transparency Register to Combat Money Laundering

Wed, May 22nd 2024

The Swiss Federal Council seeks to enhance the fight against money laundering with a new national transparency register and extended due diligence obligations for lawyers.


The Swiss Federal Council is intensifying its fight against money laundering by proposing a national transparency register. This initiative, approved by the national government on Wednesday, will extend due diligence obligations, currently mandatory for banks, to include lawyers.

The proposals, initially presented in August 2023, aim to improve transparency and accountability. Legal entities and trusts are often used globally to conceal assets, necessitating stricter regulations. The Federal Council emphasizes that combating money laundering, terrorist financing, corruption, and sanction circumvention is crucial for maintaining the Swiss financial center’s good reputation.

Under the new bill, all legal entities in Switzerland will be required to register their beneficial owners in the transparency register. This measure ensures that the actual owners of companies can be identified at any time.

The Federal Council specifically highlights the risks associated with the role of lawyers in company formations and real estate transactions. The extension of money laundering provisions to legal advisors addresses these risks. A similar proposal was debated and rejected by Parliament in 2019.

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