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Switzerland to lower client KYC threshold value for crypto exchange transactions to $1,000

Image bygemma lister from Flickr

Mon, 10 Feb 2020, 09:40 am UTC

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has proposed to lower the client identification threshold value for cryptocurrency exchange transactions from 5,000 CHF to 1,000 CHF (or USD$1,020), as stated in a press release on Feb. 7.

The regulator said that the new Financial Services Act (FinSA) and the Financial Institutions Act (FinIA) – which came into effect on Jan. 01 – have obliged it to pass a number of implementing provisions.

Accordingly, FINMA has created a new Financial Institutions Ordinance (FinIO-FINMA) as well as amendments to current FINMA ordinances and circulars. It said that it will hold a public consultation on the new regulations up to 9 April 2020.

Among other things, FINMA said it has proposed “amending the client identification threshold values in its Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance (AMLO-FINMA) from CHF 5,000 to CHF 1,000 for exchange transactions in cryptocurrencies.”

Once implemented, all the financial providers dealing in cryptocurrencies will be required to collect KYC data on the entity initiating transactions in excess of $1,000 and regularly submit the information to authorities. This is in line with the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) directives released last year, Cointelegraph reported.

"Through these measures, FINMA is implementing the international standards approved in mid-2019 and acknowledging the heightened money-laundering risks in this area," FINMA said.

The European Union (EU) has implemented the Fifth Anti Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) last month, which also brings certain cryptocurrency transactions under stricter regulations. Just recently, the German Financial Supervisory Regulatory Authority (BaFin) released guidelines to clarify how the new law will apply to firms offering or intending to offer crypto custody services to German investors.

U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) also published key information for the 5AMLD last November. “From 10 January 2020, we will be the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) supervisor of UK cryptoasset businesses under the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 as amended (MLRs),” FCA wrote in an online post.

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