FINMA publishes short report on due diligence obligations when dealing with "politically exposed persons"

In the wake of recent political events, the Federal Council rapidly imposed sanctions against exponents from Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Various banks subsequently reported holding exponents' assets which are affected by the sanctions. In this context, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA received numerous inquiries about banks complying with the anti-money laundering provisions, and, in particular, when dealing with politically exposed persons (PEP). The short report published today on "Due diligence obligations of Swiss banks when handling assets of politically exposed persons" summarises important answers to the questions received. The report elaborates on due diligence obligations for banks, FINMA supervision with respect to the anti-money laundering provisions, and the integration of Swiss regulations in an international context. Furthermore, the report illustrates specific supervisory procedures adopted by FINMA in the cases involved.

FINMA is currently checking whether certain banks have respected their due diligence obligations for reporting assets following the ordering of sanctions. FINMA will announce the results of its assessments and, if necessary, take appropriate measures.