OECD Update on the Common Reporting Standard

In December 2017, the OECD announced additional bilateral exchange relationships for the automatic exchange of information, bringing the total to over 2600 across the globe, up from 2000 relationships four months ago.

At present, over 100 jurisdictions have publicly committed to implement the CRS. Roughly half of these jurisdictions have started the exchange of CRS information in September 2017 and a further 53 (including Switzerland) will follow in September 2018.

In addition, the OECD released an updated set of  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)s. The new FAQs cover questions regarding reporting obligations of financial institutions that are in liquidation, the duty to obtain a self-certifications at account opening, the determination of controlling persons, excluded accounts held by condominium or housing cooperatives and indirect distributions by trusts.

It is important to note that these FAQ are addressed to the OECD’s member states and should not be applied directly by reporting financial institutions in Switzerland. Where the FAQ conflict with or exceed Swiss AEI legislation or FTA guidance (see for example FAQ Section VIII. C. 10.), the FAQ could however trigger changes to the AEI legislation in Switzerland.

The Swiss authorities (SIF, FTA) have not yet commented on potential changes to local AEI legislation or to their guidance as a result of the updated OECD FAQ.