LIECHTENSTEIN

5. Other Relevant Matters

A. Anti-money Laundering

The Liechtenstein Due Diligence Law (SPG) was once again overhauled in 2008 to meet ever-increasing requirements in the fight against money laundering. The new law came into effect on 1 March 2009. A new Due Diligence Ordinance (SPV) followed and came into force on the same day. Suspicious transactions must still be reported to the Financial Intelligence Unit. The SPG covers financial intermediaries, which includes banks, finance companies, fiduciaries, lawyers, investment and insurance companies, the Post Office, and bureaux de change. The SPG requires for each new mandate:

  • identity of a contractual partner
  • identity of the ultimate beneficial owner(s), and
  • a client profile with details as to source of assets being brought into the vehicle, the use to which they are to be put, and an estimate as to the amounts and currencies involved.

B. Bank Client Confidentiality

Bank and professional secrecy is anchored in the Tax Law and law governing savings and loans institutions, both dating from the year 1923, the Due Diligence Law, 2008, the Law Governing Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters 2000, and the Banking Law 2001. A workable compromise has been found between protecting the legitimate interests of bona fide clients and cooperating with relevant authorities in the battle against money laundering and organised crime.

C. Asset Management

Since 1 January 2006, the asset management profession has been regulated by a law governing asset management (Asset Management Act), which requires asset management companies to be licensed by and subject to the prudential supervision of the Financial Market Authority (FMA).


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