Report on use of cash and risks of it being misused in Switzerland

Bern, 18.12.2018 - On 18 December 2018, the interdepartmental coordinating group on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism (CGMF) published its report on the use of cash and the risks of it being misused for money laundering and terrorist financing in Switzerland. The report analyses the potential risks of cash transactions and the measures taken by financial intermediaries and authorities to mitigate these risks. The existing risks of misuse are classed as moderate.

Many different factors make cash the most widely used means of payment in Switzerland, despite a good payment infrastructure: aside from economic factors affecting not only Switzerland, the report also looks at the Swiss population's affinity for cash, which likewise contributes to its widespread use. Overall, the Swiss population's payment behaviour is similar to that of the eurozone population on average, although there are significant differences between eurozone countries.

Based on the cases documented by the authorities, it can be seen that there is a risk of cash being misused for money laundering, particularly in cases of drug trafficking and online fraud, and there has been an increase in electronic transactions for money laundering arising from drug trafficking. Nevertheless, these risks can be classed as moderate due to the preventive and repressive measures taken so far.

The CGMF consists of offices of the Federal Department of Finance (FDF), the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP), the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS), as well as the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland. The CGMF has been tasked with coordinating measures related to combating money laundering and terrorist financing in the Federal Administration and ensuring the ongoing evaluation of the risks.

Address for enquiries

Frank Wettstein, Communications, State Secretariat for International Finance SIF
Tel. +41 58 462 38 56,


Federal Department of Finance

Last modification 03.10.2018

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