Five Frequent Questions Pertaining to Owning a Swiss Trust Company (STC):

1. Are Swiss Trust Companies regulated by any government authority?

Answer: STCs are sanctioned by Federal Tax Authority (Bern, Switzerland) and the Registrar in the Canton of incorporation. A Private Swiss Trust Company is a self-regulated privileged entity (not directly regulated by FINMA which oversees banks and brokerages). The Swiss system is very unique in that lawmakers deliberately prefer self-regulation which does not relieve
ownership of anti-money laundering (AML) obligations but does dramatically reduce red tape. If your correspondent bank accounts are located in Switzerland than after reaching certain levels an additional SRO (Self Regulated Organization) designation and membership may be required for the Trust Company. This is usually at the 20 client level or $10 million in managed assets and we can easily assist.

2. Do officers, members or directors have to be accredited by any agency?

Answer: Any additional accreditation would be only be required if you were to provide financial services to Swiss citizens.

3. Are such trust companies audited for compliance or other purposes?

Answer: Annually, internal and external financial audits are required, as well as director and registered agent/office filings.

4. Do US based shareholders have to meet in Switzerland to conduct business?

Answer: No

5. Can the trust company take deposits and make loans?

Answer: The Trust Company is not a deposit taking institution; however it can manage the portfolios of third parties and issue instruments such as safekeeping receipts and promissory notes. It can also make loans.

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Swiss Trust Company, Uncategorized on April 8, 2010

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