The Principality of Liechtenstein is home to a specialised financial centre. One of the countrys most important economic pillars, it is characterised by tradition, quality and stability as well as a focus on innovation and sustainability. The financial centres global orientation is driven by its implementation of the OECD Standards of Transparency and Exchange of Information on Tax Matters.
After industry, financial services represent the second-largest economic sector in Liechtenstein. Thanks to its membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) and its customs union with Switzerland, companies in Liechtenstein have excellent access to the Swiss and EU markets. Financial market participants in Liechtenstein are subject to the same legal requirements as those in EU states. Liechtenstein also strives to strengthen its competitiveness and attractiveness by implementing all relevant Directives quickly and in line with market trends.
Banks in Liechtenstein benefit from Switzerlands financial market infrastructure, including its payment system, its stock market and its provisions on the storage and handling of securities. Insurance firms appreciate the access to the EU Single Market and the Swiss market as well as the high levels of flexibility afforded to them when designing products. Funds and fund promoters value the financial centres strong international network and benefit from Liechtensteins extensive experience in asset management. Advantages enjoyed by family offices based in Liechtenstein include its international reputation as a centre of philanthropy and its liberal business laws with a diverse range of structuring options. Liechtensteins liberal business laws and wealth of experience also make it one of the worlds most respected locations for asset structuring. Asset managers in Liechtenstein are characterised by high standards, professionalism and expertise. Furthermore, Liechtenstein boasts ideal conditions such as a simple tax system and a service-oriented administration.
The strong and internationally recognised Financial Market Authority Liechtenstein (FMA) plays a key role in the countrys financial service sector. Together with countries such as Luxembourg, Austria, Hong Kong and Singapore, Liechtenstein has been awarded top marks by the Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment (BICRA). Moreover, the FMA is represented in all European financial market supervision authorities and important global organisations. Liechtensteins financial centre is characterised not only by an effective system to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism but also by the implementation of the global standards developed by the OECD on transparency and the exchange of information regarding tax matters. The financial sector employs around 5,000 people, equivalent to 16% of the countrys total workforce.