Sanctions

The banks in Switzerland maintain strict compliance with the applicable national, international and supranational regulations and sanctions. The main focus in this respect is currently on the measures related to the war in Ukraine.

The Swiss Confederation may enact compulsory measures in order to implement sanctions that have been ordered by the United Nations Organisation, by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe or by Switzerland’s most significant trading partners and which serve to secure compliance with international law, and in particular the respect of human rights (Art. 1 para. 1 Embargo Act). The Federal Council has the authority to enact compulsory measures (Art. 2 para. 1 Embargo Act).

The Swiss Bankers Association’s position

  • Swiss banks maintain strict compliance with all applicable laws and measures, including sanctions imposed by Swiss, international and supranational bodies.
  • The banks have checks and processes in place to ensure that regulations are adhered to and prevent violations. Integrity and reputation are vital success factors for the financial centre.
  • Switzerland has put in place a strict and effective apparatus to combat money laundering, including extensive due diligence and reporting requirements. The Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) supports the continual development of compliance measures.

At present, the measures in connection with the situation in Ukraine are a priority. The Federal Council decided on 28 February 2022 to adopt the European Union’s sanctions against Russia and thus reinforce their impact.  The SBA liaises closely with the authorities on questions concerning the implementation of the sanctions and provides its members with an information and knowledge sharing platform.

Experts

Nina Fraefel
Specialist Compliance
+41 58 330 63 96