For a number of reasons, it is in Switzerland's interest not to serve as a depository for illicitly acquired assets of PEPs:
- Commitment to the rule of law and to fight impunity
For years, Switzerland has demonstrated its commitment to the rule of law and supported the fight against impunity. These principles are enshrined in the Swiss Confederation’s foreign policy strategy 2020–2023.
Foreign Policy Strategy 2020–2023
- Promoting transparency as a donor country in international development cooperation
Illicitly acquired assets of PEPs are an important development policy issue. The World Bank estimates that each year the channelling of illicitly acquired assets of PEPs from developing countries to foreign financial centres causes losses totalling between USD 20-40 billion. As a donor country in an international development cooperation context, Switzerland believes it is important that financial support to partner countries be transferred in keeping with the principles of transparency and good governance and, as far as possible, in a way that prevents any abuses.
- Reputation and integrity
Reputation and integrity are two key factors in global competition between financial centres. Switzerland does not wish to serve as a depository for assets acquired by PEPs through corruption and other criminal activities.
The proactive policy pursued by Switzerland in returning stolen assets has made it an international leader in this domain. Over the last 30 years Switzerland has successfully returned approximately USD 2 billion of stolen assets to their countries of origin.