The Federal Act of 10 October 1997 on Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in the Financial Sector (LTF), commonly known as the Money Laundering Act ("MLA"), came into force on April 1, 1998. This law governs, as specified in its article 1, the fight against money laundering as defined in article 305bis of the Swiss Criminal Code, the fight against the financing of terrorism as defined in article 260quinquiesThe Swiss Code of Obligations, paragraph 1, StGB and the due diligence required in financial transactions. It applies to all financial intermediaries operating in Switzerland, including any person who, in a professional capacity, accepts, holds in safe custody or assists in the investment or transfer of assets belonging to third parties, in particular by carrying out asset management, making investments as an investment advisor, or by holding or managing securities. The Money Laundering Act establishes a uniform regulation for the entire financial sector of the obligations of diligence that every financial intermediary must respect in order to fight money laundering, namely the obligation to verify the identity of the contracting party, the obligation to identify the beneficial owner, etc. This law is said to be a framework law. As such, it is the responsibility of the supervisory authorities, i.e. FINMA and the Federal Gaming Board, as well as the 11 recognized self-regulatory organizations (SROs) to implement the due diligence obligations introduced by the MLA.
As a recognized self-regulatory organization, the SRO-G, like the above-mentioned supervisory authorities and the other SROs, had to implement the duties of diligence as well as the duties in case of suspicion of money laundering according to Art. 3 to 11 MLA in a Regulation. Based on the Statutes of the SRO-G, this regulation specifies, for the attention of the members of this organization, the organizational measures that they must take as well as the modalities of application of the obligations contained in chapter 2 of the MLA that they are required to respect. For example, these regulations collect information on the establishment of a business relationship or prior to a transaction, or on the amounts of cash transactions above which the SRO-G member is obliged to verify the identity of the contracting party or even to identify the beneficial owner... In accordance with the principle of coordination, the SRO-G regulations are based on the former Ordinance of the Money Laundering Control Authority, now called the Ordinance of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority of November 6, 2008 on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in Other Financial Sectors (FINMA Money Laundering Ordinance 3, OBA-FINMA 3), which came into force on January 1, 2004 and which is only applicable to financial intermediaries directly subject to this authority. At the end of 2005, the SRO-G Committee proceeded to the revision of these regulations in order to adapt them to the new FATF recommendations and, above all, to adjust them to the various federal ordinances which now provide for certain reliefs in the application of the obligations of financial intermediaries. A revision of this regulation is currently underway in order to be called the Ordinance of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority of November 6, 2008 on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in other Financial Sectors (FINMA Money Laundering Ordinance 3), OBA-FINMA 3)
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