Marc Blumenfeld and Tennesse Soudain – February 2, 2021
The international fight against terrorism has led to cases of abuse and misuse of certain non-profit organisations (NPOs) to raise and move funds. These funds are then used by the terrorist organisation to meet its logistical needs, to encourage the recruitment of new members or to support terrorist operations by any other means. There are also situations in which terrorists create fake charities and engage in fraudulent fundraising. Not only does this facilitate terrorist activities, but it also has the effect of undermining the trust of donors and thus the reputation of the NPO.
The international recommendations as well as new requirements for association currently proposed in Switzerland are primarily aimed at protecting NPOs from operation for terrorist financing purposes and are risk-based.
Protecting NPOs from exploitation for terrorist financing purposes is therefore both an element of the global fight against terrorism and at the same time a necessary measure to preserve the integrity of NPOs and their donors.
With Horizon 2020, the EU has created the largest research and innovation program in the history of the European Union. Funding support of almost EUR 80 billion has been made available for a period of 7 years (2014 to 2020 inclusive).
The overall goal of Horizon 2020 is to contribute to building a knowledge and innovation-based society and economy across the Union by mobilizing additional funding for research, development and innovation and contributing to the achievement of research and development goals. According to the European Commission, the program is open to all and has a simple structure, reducing time and bureaucracy. It is designed to allow participants to focus on the research projects themselves.
However, because the projects use public money, the expenditures must be meticulously monitored and reviewed. It is open to the Commission to conduct controls, audits and investigations (during and after the end of the project).
This article aims to provide an overview of the Horizon 2020 research project and to shed light on how minimal the administrative burden really is.
Since the beginning of 2020, trustees and independent asset managers are required to join a supervisory organization (AO) for ongoing supervision. This is a consequence due to the newly enacted Financial Institutions Act (FINIA), which we have already reported on. Both the supervisory regime and the supervisory organizations themselves are new, and therefore, there is a correspondingly high level of uncertainty and open questions.
This article aims to answer the most important questions regarding the ongoing supervision of AOs from the perspective of the supervised institutions. To this end, Alithis has contacted OSFIN, one of the new AOs, to provide first-hand information on the work of the supervisory organizations.
Many questions about the new supervisory regime will only be answered over time and in practice. For the supervised institutions, on the other hand, the questions will arise now, as they are confronted with the changeover with regard to the new supervision. This article therefore aims to provide answers to the following questions: What is a supervisory organization? How does supervision work? What awaits the supervised institutions?
Even in 2020, 785 million people in the world will not have permanent access to a simple drinking water supply. Nevertheless, the issue of water – and access to it – is presented as a success story of the Millennium Development Goals. After all, 91 percent of the world’s population has access to clean water – 1.9 billion more people than in 1990. However, the upward trend masks major differences: of the 159 million people who can only drink surface water from rivers, lakes or ponds, two thirds live in Africa..
Meanwhile, corporations buy water rights on a large scale from state water authorities. This gives the companies the right to pump water directly from the groundwater (below the earth’s surface). This water is purified and then sold as water in plastic bottles. The business is extremely lucrative: Nestlé, for example, achieved a turnover of 7.409 billion Swiss francs with water products in 2018 – about 8.1% of the company’s total turnover.
What makes the trade in water, the elixir of life, possible? If water resources are becoming increasingly scarce worldwide, how is it possible that corporations can or must buy water rights on a large scale in order to keep up with their competitors?
This article provides an overview of the human right to water to show whether it is an established right or a purely moral obligation.
For many local and international trustees, the outsourcing of functions and tasks is fundamental to the performance of their business. While efficiency and quality considerations often argue in favour of outsourcing, the involved risks should not be underestimated.
To minimize these risks, the regulations applicable to trustees contain specific provisions. For example, the Financial Institutions Act (FINIA), which has been (newly) applicable to domestic and foreign trustees since January 1, 2020, and the generally more stringent regulatory requirements for trustees (see Alithis’ article of May 6, 2019), addresses the possibility of outsourcing.
This article examines the regulatory framework for the outsourcing of tasks by trustees and is intended to provide trustees with practical advice on what they should look out for when outsourcing.
In the light of the international trends to regulate and supervise financial services and its providers (Markets in Financial Intruments Directive (MiFID) II, Prospectus Directive, Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (PRIIPs)), the Financial Services Act (FINSA) and the Financial Institutions Act (FINIA) entered into force in Switzerland on January 1, 2020.
The new Swiss regulation introduces prudential supervision for asset managers and trustees who have only been subject to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulation in Switzerland until now.
Foreign trustees will also be affected by the FINSA/FINIA if they engage in activities in Switzerland. This article provides a high-level outline of the new regulatory playing field for foreign trustees in Switzerland.
Despite its legal recognition by the Hague Trust Convention in 2007, the trust and its various forms have long enjoyed little attention in Switzerland from a financial regulatory perspective. The business activity as a trustee was – apart from the Money Laundering Act (“MLA”) – not regulated. This meant that anyone could act as a professional trustee in Switzerland without having to comply with registration, licensing or minimum capital requirements.
With the entry into force of the Financial Services Act (“FINSA”) and the Financial Institutions Act (“FINIA”) on 1.1.2020, the rules that now apply to trustees and related service providers operating in Switzerland will change. Based on the European regulatory package MIFID II, financial institutions and trustees will be subject to licensing requirements (FINIA) and financial service providers will be subject to specific rules of conduct (FINSA). The FINSA and the FINIA are intended to work together to strengthen client protection and protect the Swiss financial center.
This article provides a first overview of the new regulations for trustees operating in Switzerland under the new FINSA/FINIA regulatory package.