The Federal Tribunal recently confirmed an asset manager's conviction of criminal mismanagement under Article 158 of the Swiss Criminal Code for failing to disclose retrocessions received from a custodian bank. This is the first time that the tribunal has ruled on the controversial issue of whether the failure of an asset manager to render accounts on retrocessions and similar rewards paid by third parties in connection with the asset manager's performance of their mandate would qualify as criminal mismanagement.
The Federal Council recently initiated the consultation on a number of amendments to the Anti-money Laundering Act. The consultation draft marks the third bundle of legislative measures to comprehensively implement the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force in its latest mutual evaluation report on Switzerland. However, the proposed extension of the act's scope to include advisers marks a significant and highly problematic step.
Parliament recently adopted amendments to the Penal Code introducing new provisions on corruption in the private sector. Corporate undertakings should accordingly scrutinise internal regulations and directives and internal control procedures should be reviewed to strengthen the overall resistance against corruption. Undertakings should also consider establishing an internal reporting mechanism for suspected wrongdoing.
Switzerland is revising the regulatory framework governing its financial infrastructure, Swiss and foreign financial service providers and the distribution of financial products in Switzerland. Many of the criminal provisions contained in the proposed legislation are already in place. However, the scope of application of the proposed acts is wider than in existing legislation.