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Introduction: Swiss Money Laundering Act

Switzerland continues to attract non-domestic capital, not least on account of its highly-developed financial services sector. For the same reason, the financial sector is also a very attractive target for money laundering activities.

In order to prevent the proceeds of crime (“dirty assets”) reaching the legitimate economic cycle, thereby undermining the Swiss and global economy as well as Switzerland’s reputation as a place to do business, the Swiss Money Laundering Act (Geldwäschereigesetz – “GwG”) of 10 October 1997 was passed. This is designed to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Binding due diligence obligations, as well as checks to ensure adherence, have been put in place to prevent the proceeds of crime infiltrating the legitimate economic cycle.