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    Swiss Authorities Issue Regulatory Updates for Financial Entities

    September 02, 2022

    The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) issued statements on the extension of protective measures at Sberbank (Switzerland) AG as well as on the changing ownership of Sberbank (Switzerland) AG. In addition, the Swiss Federal Council issued the implementing provisions in various ordinances related to the Anti-Money Laundering Act. The Federal Council also adopted a framework for issuance of green Confederation bonds, with the first bond scheduled to be issued in Autumn 2022.

    Below are key highlights of the recent updates:

    • FINMA informed that it has temporarily lifted its protective measures at Sberbank (Switzerland) AG from September 02, 2022 to September 05, 2022 to enable the sale of Sberbank (Switzerland) AG to go through. The Russian parent company of Sberbank (Switzerland) AG is selling its holding to Geneva-based m3 Groupe Holding SA. The restructured bank will continue its operations on the basis of the existing FINMA license under the new name of TradeXBank AG. FINMA is closely overseeing the transaction and has temporarily lifted the protective measures it imposed in March 2022 to protect the bank's creditors.
    • During a meeting on August 31, 2022, the Federal Council brought the revised Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) and the amended Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance (AMLO) into force with effect from January 01, 2023. The Federal Council brought the first part of the revised AMLA into force on January 01, 2022 and the main part will follow on January 01, 2023. The Federal Council is issuing implementing provisions in various ordinances, including on reporting, on the introduction of a control mechanism for the purchase of precious metal scrap, and on the new mandate of the Central Office for Precious Metals Control as a money laundering oversight authority. The duties in the event of a suspicion of money laundering will no longer be set out in ordinances of the supervisory authorities; instead, they will be regulated by the Federal Council.
    • By issuing the Green Confederation bonds, the Federal Council intends to promote the application of international standards on the Swiss capital market and encourage private-sector players to issue their own green bonds. The framework adopted by the Federal Council forms the basis for issuing green Confederation bonds in the future. It shows how the bonds will be integrated into the federal government's sustainability strategy, which green expenditure from the federal budget can be allocated to green Confederation bonds and how this expenditure will be reported. The precise specifications for the first issue (volume, maturity, coupon) will depend on the Confederation's funding requirements and the prevailing market conditions at the time of issuance.

     

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    Keywords: Europe, Switzerland, Banking, Regulatory Capital, Sberbank, Anti Money Laundering Act, ESG, Credit Risk, Green Bonds, AML CFT, Sustainable Finance, Swiss Federal Council, FINMA

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