Comparative Guides

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Financial crime
What provisions govern money laundering and other forms of financial crime in your jurisdiction and what specific implications do these have for fintech companies?

Answer ... Payment service providers and any other persons that dispose of financial assets for third parties must, as financial intermediaries, ensure that the necessary registrations in accordance with the Anti-money Laundering Act are in place. Among other duties, financial intermediaries must identify their contractual counterparties and the beneficial owner of the assets. Even if a company does not qualify as a financial intermediary, it must ensure adequate governance to prevent its services or products from being used for money laundering.

A number of other financial crime regulations may come into play in the provision of fintech products and services, including:

  • anti-fraud, anti-corruption and misconduct in public procurement procedures; and
  • the prohibition of insider trading and market manipulation.

Before starting operations, a fintech business should verify whether it qualifies as a financial intermediary under the Anti-money Laundering Act and whether registration is required. If registration is required, the company may be incorporated, but should not start business before registration.

Companies should identify the risks involved with their particular business model and should establish a suitable internal governance and compliance structure. Under Swiss law, companies may also be fined if they fail to prevent financial crimes because of a lack of adequate structures.

For more information about this answer please contact: Jana Essebier from Vischer AG