Key jurisdiction, key differences

Author: | Published: 12 Mar 2015
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Legal practitioners should not take Switzerland for granted. A non-member of the EU, the country's rules need careful consideration and understanding. In terms of banking capital regulation, for example, Switzerland fully implemented Basel III in 2013, but not the Capital Requirements Directive IV (CRD IV).

Swiss requirements for Systemically Important Financial Institutions (Sifis) are deemed stricter than CRD IV. There are plans to review the Banking Law, as well as to subject external asset managers to prudential supervision, but other rules, such as the Banking Recovery and Resolution Directive will not be put into force in Switzerland, although the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) will safeguard on this area via other requirements.

"Switzerland’s rules need careful consideration and understanding"

Swiss legal practitioners were busy in 2014. The country faced calls from Transparency International to toughen its Anti-Money-Laundering rules, Swiss-based banks have been under pressure from the US to release information on client current accounts.

The country has also implemented new legislation on plans for mass redundancies, issued an Ordinance to limit remuneration of executives in Swiss listed companies and voted in a referendum to impose a limit on immigration.

It will be interesting to see what impact all this has on the Swiss ability to be competitive, when nearly a quarter of the workforce comes from outside the country. There are also concerns about the impact of this vote on Switzerland's relationship with the EU in the medium to long term and the possibility of an increase in tariffs.

The country's unique regulatory systems and approaches have been comprehensively assessed in this IFLR guide. Read contributions on legal hurdles in cooperating with foreign governments, the Swiss approach to bank capital regulations, whistleblowing, disputes developments and much more.

We hope this guide will provide crucial insight to those navigating the nuances of Switzerland's economic climate and financial agenda.

With contributions from the country's leading banks, industry bodies and law firms, the Switzerland Guide 2015 should prove an invaluable resource.