Stability and growth
The stability of the financial system is a fundamental prerequisite for the sustainable development of the Swiss economy. The Federal Council is committed to the swift conclusion of the regulatory work that remains to be completed in the area of too-big-to-fail. It implements international standards (specifically Basel III) in step with other major financial centres. The FDF regularly reviews the regulatory framework as regards the risks stemming from systemically important financial institutions.
Thanks to a sustainable financial policy, the Federal Council ensures that it has sufficient room for manoeuvre to react swiftly and effectively to future crises. It combats excessive debt in the corporate sector and households, removes false incentives and designs the framework such that insurable risks can be covered and corresponding solutions are available on the market. At international level, within the IMF and the G20 Finance Track, the FDF advocates a sustainable global financial architecture, as well as transparent and sound public finances and debt.
Increasing transparency for sustainable investment
The Swiss financial centre should further strengthen its position as a leading location for sustainable financial services.15 The framework conditions should be designed to ensure that the competitiveness of Switzerland's financial centre is continuously improved and the financial sector can make an effective contribution to sustainability. For financial markets to adequately take environmental risks into account, it is an important precondition that a high-quality data basis in both the financial sector and the real economy is available, taking international standards into account. Moreover, increased transparency on environmental risks and environmental impact allows investors to make decisions efficiently, promotes innovation capabilities in the financial sector and helps to avoid greenwashing. In order that risks to financial market players are more clearly visible and palpable, external costs of environmental and climate damage from economic activities in the real economy need to be internalised. The Federal Council continues to advocate at international level that greenhouse gas emissions should be appropriately priced using market economy tools, such as charges or emissions trading systems.
Thanks to the more efficient use of digital technology, fintechs are becoming increasingly important for the financial centre, either by acting as innovation partners of traditional financial players or occasionally by replacing their value added. Fintechs are thus essential for the future sustainability and competitiveness of the Swiss financial centre. The Federal Council will position the Swiss financial centre as a global leader in exploiting the potential of digital technology in the area of sustainable finance (green fintech).
Combating financial crime
Money laundering and terrorism financing
The Federal Council greatly values the integrity of the financial centre and has made huge efforts in recent years to identify risks early and improve the mechanism for combating money laundering and terrorist financing. This includes that the relevant international standards are being implemented in national legislation in an efficient and tailored manner. The Federal Council views an effective mechanism for combating financial crime as a prerequisite for the good reputation and sustainable success of a world-leading financial centre. At international level within the FATF, the FDF advocates effective and appropriate solutions, as well as globally harmonised implementation of standards, for example as regards the revision of recommendations on transparency and identifying the beneficial owner in the case of legal entities. The Federal Council will examine whether additional measures may be needed owing to new developments in Switzerland, and involves Parliament and interested groups at an early stage.
Illegal financial flows
The Federal Council is committed to ensuring that causes of illegal financial flows (drugs trade, terrorism, corruption, tax evasion and money laundering) can be effectively combated. In the international debate on illegal financial flows, it advocates appropriate and globally balanced solutions. The FDF, together with the competent offices, coordinates the measures at international level, thereby ensuring the integrity and competitiveness of the financial centre. The FDF maintains its commitment in matters regarding international tax administrative assistance and examines the option of automatic exchange of information (AEIO) with other states and territories that meet the criteria of the global AEIO standard, and particularly with emerging market and developing countries. The Federal Council is committed to repatriating illegally obtained assets and ensures effective international cooperation among judicial authorities. Where there are illegal financial flows which threaten Switzerland's integrity as a financial centre and tax location, the Federal Council raises this for discussion, both bilaterally and within international bodies. As part of technical assistance, Switzerland assists affected states in strengthening their institutions to combat illegal financial flows.
The FDF supports financial service providers and the competent authorities with regard to prevention, incident management and improving resilience to cyber-risks. In addition, it is setting up a cybersecurity crisis organisation to deal with cyber-risks in the financial sector, and ensures close cooperation with the National Cybersecurity Centre (NCSC). This supports the industry in developing stable and secure electronic payment systems and value storage systems.
Last modification 22.01.2021