Swiss financial regulator to propose looser AML rules for fintechs

Wednesday 29 August 2018 10:45 CET | News

FINMA, a Switzerland-based financial regulator, has announced plans to loosen anti-money laundering rules for smaller financial technology companies, according to Reuters.

This initiative is part of a drive to boost innovation and shore up the country’s position as a leading money management hub, the online publication continues. The proposed “relaxations” apply to small institutions, meaning those with gross revenues under 1.5 million Swiss francs (USD 1.5 million).

Under its terms small institutions, unlike banks, will not for instance have to establish an independent anti-money laundering unit with monitoring duties, it said.

The move comes after Switzerland’s parliament voted in June 2018 to amend the Swiss Banking Act, creating a new fintech license category to ease rules imposed on financial endeavours that take in funds and provide certain bank-like functions. The new license, intended to promote financial innovation, will apply to groups which accept public deposits of up to 100 million francs but don’t invest the funds or pay interest. It will likely have the biggest immediate impact on activities such as crowdfunding, which under current rules could often require a banking license.

Nevertheless, cryptocurrency projects are unlikely to be affected by the changes. FINMA opened a review period for its proposal to run through October 26, 2018.

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Keywords: FINMA, AML, Switzerland, fintech, banking, money laundering, fraud prevention, Europe
Countries: World