Swiss Federal Government Proposes To Abolish Bearer Shares By The End Of 2018

Author:Dr. Thomas Rihm
Profession:Rihm Attorneys

On January 17, 2018, the Swiss Federal Government opened the formal consultation process aimed at implementing the most recent recommendations by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (Global Forum). The draft law proposes the conversion of bearer shares into registered shares as well as a sanction system for breaches of pertaining duties.

On July 26, 2016, the Global Forum published its report on phase 2 of the country review for Switzerland. The report contains several recommendations on further transparency of legal persons and the exchange of information.

The draft law proposes the mandatory conversion of bearer shares into registered shares and a system of penalties in the event that shareholders violate their duty to notify beneficial owners or companies of their duty to maintain records of shareholders and beneficial owners.

Furthermore, it is planned that authorities and financial intermediaries may inspect...

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