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11 December 2020 / news

Entry into force of Swiss DLT bill

On 11 December 2020, the Federal Council decided that parts of the DLT Bill will enter into force on 1 February 2021. The implemented elements will enable the introduction of ledger-based securities (Registerwertrechte). This strengthens Switzerland in becoming a leading and innovative location for blockchain and DLT companies.

In order to improve the framework conditions for Switzerland as a FinTech location, the Swiss Parliament adopted the Federal Act on the Adaption of Federal Law to Developments in Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT Bill) in September 2020. By this blanket act, different existing federal acts are selectively adapted.

It was expected that the Federal Council will bring the amendments to the federal acts into force with effect from 1 August 2020. It was, however, expected that certain amendments to the Federal Act on Financial Services (FinSA) and the Federal Act on Financial Institutions (FinIA), limiting the ombudsman affiliation requirement for specific financial service providers, will become effective earlier.

On 11 December 2020, the Federal Council decided to also implement the amendments to the Code of Obligation, the Federal Intermediated Securities Act and the Federal Act on International Private Law as of 1 February 2021. These provisions establish a new category of uncertificated securities (Wertrechte) that are represented on the blockchain, the so-called ledger-based securities. Ledger-based securities have similar features and legal treatment as certificated securities. To learn more about this new category of uncertificated securities, check our earlier publication on FinTech from August 2020.

With regard to the amendments to FinSA and FinIA, as of 1 February 2021, no ombudsman affiliation is required at all if the financial service provider is exclusively providing financial services to institutional or professional clients (please see our earlier publication on these amendments). Furthermore, financial institutions that do not provide financial services do not have the duty to affiliate with an ombudsman.

The remaining provisions of the DLT Bill are expected to enter into force as originally planned on 1 August 2021.

Disclaimer

Although this publication has been compiled with great care, Loyens & Loeff N.V. and all other entities, partnerships, persons and practices trading under the name ‘Loyens & Loeff’, do not accept any liability for the consequences of making use of this publication. The information provided is intended as general information and cannot be regarded as individual advice.



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