Switzerland’s financial sector is of significant importance to the national economy, employing about 6% of the total workforce and accounting for 10% of economic output.
The financial sector ensures that the Swiss economy is never short of the necessary capital or financial services. However, since such services are clearly of interest not just to legitimate businesses but also to criminal organisations and individuals, it is important to maintain safeguards against abuses. Switzerland is one of the most efficiently regulated and supervised financial centres in the world today (measures to combat money laundering and corruption, counter-measures in relation to the 'illegally acquired assets of politically exposed persons' etc.). The Swiss Confederation works closely with other countries to actively combat organised crime and terrorism. Cross-border tax evasion should be prevented with the help of the new global standard for the automatic exchange of information (AEOI). To date, almost 100 countries, including all major financial centres and Switzerland, have declared their intention to adopt the standard. Switzerland has signed an agreement for the introduction of the automatic exchange of information with a range of jurisdictions, also covering the UK. Data can be collected from 2017 and exchanged from 2018. The financial sector, the Federal Department of Finance (FDF), the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), and Swiss embassies and consulates abroad provide clarification on such matters. The FDF, the FDFA and the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research also represent the interests of Switzerland as a financial centre in international negotiations with various bodies (UN, EU, OECD, FATF).