To help banks with laws and regulations to be followed the Swiss Bankers Association issued a revised version of the “Guide to the Opening of Corporate Accounts for DLT Companies”. While the guide was updated with regards to terminology and content, it still does not define any industry-wide minimum standards, but is intended to support the member banks in discussions with their clients.
And last but not least, FINMA published its “Fintech Dossier” online and at the same time specifies how it applies Swiss anti-money laundering rules to financial services providers supervised by FINMA in the area of blockchain technology. This adds another layer to the challenges new Fintech and blockchain financial intermediaries face when entering the Swiss market.
FINMA opposes traditional payment services involving cryptocurrencies where sender/recipient information (according to Art. AMLO 10) can’t be transmitted reliably within the payment system. FINMA has therefore chosen to follow a stricter application of anti-money laundering rules in blockchain banking. Institutions supervised by FINMA are only allowed to receive tokens of other wallets belonging to the same customer and send tokens to wallets held in the name of the customer as long as the sender/recipient information can’t be transmitted. FATF standards however foresee the exception that information about the client and the beneficiary must not be transmitted with the transfer of tokens as long as unregulated wallet providers are involved.
This means that in Switzerland establishing payment services in cryptocurrencies will require a more centralized crypto-system analogous to Swift – rather than the use of the decentralized system proper to blockchain technology.