Bern, April 26, 2023
At its meeting on 26 April, the Federal Council took note of the ‘Public-Private Partnership for Sharing Information to Fight Terrorist Financing and Money Laundering in Switzerland’ report. Based on this report, the Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland at the Federal Office of Police will develop a strategic partnership for the purpose of sharing information between the public and private sector in order to combat terrorist financing and money laundering.
A public-private partnership (PPP) can make a vital contribution towards fighting crime. Based on this conclusion by the Federal Office of Police fedpol, the Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland (MROS) was instructed by the Federal Council to examine the possibility of introducing such a partnership in Switzerland. The aim of this partnership is to share financial information in order to enhance the ability to tackle terrorist financing and money laundering. To this end, MROS carried out discussions with various authorities as well as banking and financial experts. The financial sector supports the introduction of a public-private partnership and has signalled its willingness to actively contribute towards developing one. Today, 20 of the 30 most important financial centres in the world have already established public-private partnerships and have had positive results, in particular with regard to prevention.
The Federal Council welcomes the efforts being made towards establishing a PPP. Such a partnership is in line with the 2020-23 crime-fighting strategy of the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP), which sees closer cooperation between the public and private sector as a cornerstone in combating crime effectively.
Foundation for a partnership
Based on its report, MROS will work together with the financial sector to develop a strategic partnership for sharing information between the public and private sectors in order to combat terrorist financing and money laundering. In developing this partnership, the legal provisions in Switzerland (e.g. bank-client confidentiality) will be taken into account. The partnership will involve using strategic analysis to identify methods, trends, threats and risks in terrorist financing and money laundering, and sharing statistical data, indicators and typologies to enable the private sector to better identify suspicious cases. This, in turn, will aid the authorities in prevention and law enforcement. In the next phase, the form, the concrete objectives, the legal basis and the composition of the partnership will be defined.
MROS’s authority to explore the possibility of a public-private partnership is based on a Federal Council mandate of 17 November 2021. The mandate instructed the FDJP, together with the Federal Department of Finance (FDF) and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), to examine the feasibility of a public-private partnership to share information for the purpose of enhancing the fight against terrorist financing and money laundering in Switzerland.