Business Corruption in Switzerland
Corruption does not impede business in Switzerland. Interacting with the public administration and obtaining public services is considered transparent and corruption-free, and corruption is not widespread in any particular public sector. However, corruption and bribery in the private sector is an issue given the large number of business headquarters in the country and the importance of the country’s financial institutions. The Criminal Code criminalises active and passive bribery and the bribery of foreign public officials, while bribery in the private sector is criminalised under the Unfair Competition Act. A company can be criminally prosecuted and ordered to pay a fine of up to CHF five million for acts of corruption committed by individuals working on its behalf. Although the notion of facilitation payments does not exist in Swiss anti-bribery laws, authorities have clarified that they are considered illegal under most circumstances. Gifts and hospitality can be considered illegal depending on the value, intent and the benefit obtained.
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