News / 25.08.2022

MONEYVAL recognises sincere anti-money laundering efforts

The times when Liechtenstein had a reputation as a money laundering sanctuary are long gone. Since the proclamation of the so-called white money strategy in 2009, Liechtenstein has pledged itself to transparency and international cooperation and increasingly expanded its anti-money laundering measures. The volte-face that Liechtenstein has made over the last 15 years is impressive and despite some sceptical voices, Liechtenstein has become stronger, proving that its foundations are indeed the gold standard in (serious) estate planning.

MONEYVAL – a Council of Europe committee going by the cumbersome name "Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism" – recently published its evaluation report on the fifth round of mutual evaluation of Liechtenstein's anti-money laundering efforts. MONEYVAL analysed the level of compliance with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) 40 recommendations on combatting money laundering. The results of the analysis confirm Liechtenstein's conversion has not been mere lip service:

  • Liechtenstein authorities have demonstrated a good broad and deep understanding of core money laundering risks. These risks are addressed successfully by national anti-money laundering policies and activities.

  • Liechtenstein’s professional trust service providers are vigilant in exercising their due diligence duties.

  • Liechtenstein has a sound legal framework which ensures automatic implementation of relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions on targeted financial sanctions.

  • The private sector has a generally good understanding of money laundering and terrorist financing risks and mitigating measures are effectively applied.

While, as always, there is room for improvement, Liechtenstein has shown that it has better and more effective anti-money laundering measures in place than most other member states of the Council of Europe. As a result of the positive outcome, Liechtenstein will only be subject to MONEYVAL’s regular follow-up reporting process instead of a full review. Liechtenstein is thus in an illustrious club of no more than five other jurisdictions that have reached this status so far.

The benefit of Liechtenstein's ongoing efforts to maintain a sound environment for (future) founders and beneficiaries is obvious. Anyone choosing Liechtenstein as a hub for their estate planning chooses a reputable, sincere and attractive jurisdiction.

For further information, please contact Dr Philipp Konzett, LL.M. (EUI).