Home / News & Insights / Phillips & Cohen In The Media / Missing piece in Swiss whistleblower jigsaw – Letter to the Editor

Missing piece in Swiss whistleblower jigsaw – Letter to the Editor

Letter to the editor of the Financial Times from Phillips & Cohen partner Erika Kelton discussing the need for more whistleblower laws in Switzerland.

Missing piece in Swiss whistleblower jigsaw

Your article “Swiss unveil dirty money clampdown to repair image” (Report, August 31) should mention the critical lack of whistleblower laws in Switzerland. Because of the country’s reputation as a safe haven for corrupt gains, Switzerland lags far behind other European nations in encouraging and protecting whistleblowers.

With some limited exceptions, Swiss whistleblowers remain largely unprotected against retaliation, and the country offers no whistleblower rewards for reporting money laundering and other financial crimes.

In fact, in some sectors, such as banking, secrecy laws mean whistleblowers can and are held criminally liable for making disclosures. The country has tried numerous times to pass legislation offering greater protections for whistleblowers, without success. Given the secret nature of money laundering, people with insider knowledge — the whistleblowers — can be crucial in combating such financial crimes. While the new reforms designed to crack down on money laundering could increase transparency and close some loopholes, without a proper whistleblower programme in place, Switzerland is missing a critical piece of the enforcement puzzle.

Erika Kelton International Whistleblower Attorney Phillips & Cohen Washington, DC, US

September 12, 2023

Let us help you.
Get a free, confidential case review