Switzerland’s banks are to increase levels of due diligence with new rules that come into force next year according to the Swiss banking association.

The new rules will make it harder for criminals to hide their money in companies or other entities with obscure ownership structures.

Controlling interests

From 2016, Swiss banks will be required to identify the controlling owner of legal entities and private companies.

This means identifying all individuals with a stake of more than 25 per cent or anyone exercising control over a company or other entity.

If no individuals meet these criteria, banks must instead identify the highest-ranking employee, the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) said.


The SBA was responding to a report by a government-appointed group that found Switzerland was vulnerable to financial crime.

“The fight against money laundering and terrorist financing are central issues for the Swiss financial centre,” according to an SBA statement.

Swiss investigators are reportedly looking into 53 possible cases of money laundering and 104 incidents of suspicious activity in Swiss bank accounts as part of their investigation into the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.