Fighting money laundering and terrorist financing

Switzerland is actively committed to preserving the integrity of its financial centre. As part of this effort, it engages in the development of global standards against money laundering and terrorist financing and systematically enacts them in its national legislation.

Combating money laundering and terrorist financing is an important foreign policy issue for Switzerland, particularly in regards to its reputation as a financial centre. Switzerland wants to prevent that illicit funds are channeled into the legal economy and that terrorists are able to access funds. It participates in the development of international standards on money laundering and terrorist financing and enacts them consistently. Swiss legislation is one of the world's soundest in this respect.

Engagement at the international level

At the multilateral level, Switzerland supports measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing primarily through its involvement in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Switzerland participated in drafting the FATF 40 Recommendations, which are recognised as the global standard in combating money laundering and terrorist financing. In addition, Switzerland has ratified and enacted the following relevant conventions:

  • Terrorist Financing Convention, 1999

  • Vienna Convention, 1988

  • United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo Convention), 2000

  • United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), 2003

  • Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, 2001

Combating money laundering and terrorist financing at the national level

Measures to counter money laundering and terrorist financing in Switzerland are based on the Anti-Money Laundering Act, the Criminal Code and the relevant supplementary provisions in other federal laws aligned with the international standards. The Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland (MROS) at the Federal Office of Police registers reports of suspicious activity by financial intermediaries in regard to money laundering or terrorist financing and, if appropriate, forwards them to the prosecution authorities. The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and the Federal Gaming Board (FGB) monitor compliance with due diligence obligations by the financial intermediaries under their supervision.