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Switzerland To Legislate For Beneficial Ownership Registry

A new legislative bill will be introduced in Switzerland seeking higher transparency and simpler identification of the ultimate beneficial owners of legal entities by June 2023.

The bill will include the introduction of a central register of beneficial ownership information and a new set of rules to ensure that information on the aforementioned is kept up-to-date when required. However, since Switzerland is not a member of the EU, UBO registration is not a legal requirement and thus the UBO register will only be made available to relevant authorities and not publicly disclosed. Additionally, Switzerland will strengthen the UBO transparency protocols of Swill legal organisations for anti-money laundering purposes.

These transparency requirements will vary depending on the types of shares involved. Each person acquiring or holding bearer shares of a non-listed Swiss company will be obliged to disclose their name and the company’s address. In the case of registered shares, if the individual acquires shares in an unlisted Swiss company with holdings of 25 per cent or more of the company’s share capital or voting rights due to the purchase, the individual will be required to disclose the identity and address of the ultimate beneficial owner to the company or, if delegated by the company, to a financial intermediary.

Overall, this new legislative measure will ensure Switzerland to align itself with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information in Tax Matters.

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