Exemption from punishment and exclusion of liability

In order to ensure that the subordinated financial intermediaries do not suffer detrimental effects within the framework of the rendering of their statutory obligations pursuant to GwG, an exclusion from punishment and exclusion of liability has been established in the GwG (Art. 11 GwG).

Pursuant to the provisions of the GwG, a financial intermediary cannot be prosecuted on the grounds of:

  • breach of official, professional or business secrecy, or
  • made liable on the grounds of breach of contract

if the financial intermediary issued a report in good faith or imposes an asset freeze.

However, this liability exclusion should not be seen as a carte blanche for the reckless issue of reports. Instead, a comprehensive exemption from liability under criminal and civil law shall be established only insofar as suspicions existed and thorough clarifications provided reasonable grounds for the report. To this extent, it is sufficient for the financial intermediary to have acted in good faith when issuing the report of freezing the assets.


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