ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss financial regulator FINMA is planning to loosen anti-money laundering rules for smaller financial technology firms, part of a drive to boost innovation and shore up the country’s position as a leading money management hub.
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA is seen outside their headquarters in Bern, Switzerland April 5, 2016. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich/File Photo
The revisions, prompted by a new ‘fintech’ licensing category carved out by the Swiss parliament in June, will clarify how non-banks applying for the new license must ensure due diligence.
“As a rule, all financial institutions are subject to similar due-diligence requirements relating to combating money laundering. However, as most fintech license applicants are likely to be smaller institutions, FINMA proposes to introduce some organizational relaxations for such institutions,” the financial supervisor said in a statement on Tuesday.
Its proposal defines small institutions as those with gross revenues under 1.5 million Swiss francs ($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 to amend the Swiss Banking Act, creating a new fintech license category to ease rules imposed on financial endeavors that take in funds and provide certain bank-like functions, but do not make money by investing or receiving interest on the funds.
Switzerland, the world’s largest center for offshore wealth,…