Swiss law tightens around bearer shares

July 1st 2015 – the so-called GAFI law comes into effect.

The Swiss parliamentar group on financial action (GAFI) have been deliberating for some time on how to tighten the noose around money-laundering. Their new law will have the following effect on holders of bearer shares:

- Holders of bearer shares must announce their ownership of shares to the company by December 31st 2015;
- Anyone purchasing a bearer share of an unquoted Swiss company must declare their purchase to the company within one month of purchase;
- Anyone purchasing any kind of share (nominative or bearer) representing at least 25% of the capital must disclose the identity of the beneficial owner to the company;
- Anyone failing to respect these obligations will lose their right to vote and to receive dividends from the company;
- Unquoted Swiss companies must maintain a list of bearer shares and their beneficial owners, available for inspection at any time, and keep records of the list for 10 years.
- The above rules apply to Sàrl as well as SA.

For more information, see:

https://www.news.admin.ch/message/index.html?lang=fr&msg-id=57064