The Liechtenstein financial centre distinguishes itself through its legal stability, a modern infrastructure, its central location within Europe and its monetary union with Switzerland. The wide array of products and services in the financial sector conforms to international standards, and financial service providers are subject to the supervision of an independent financial market authority.
The financial services providers in Liechtenstein can be divided into six main categories:
- Banks and finance companies
- Asset management companies
- Investment undertakings (fund business)
- Trustees, lawyers, auditors
- Insurance undertakings
- Miscellaneous service providers such as accountants, mediators and business consultants
The financial sector contributes roughly 30 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product. Second only to industry and the manufacturing sector, it is Liechtenstein’s largest economic sector. Private asset management, international asset structuring as well as fund business and insurance solutions are considered to be some of the most important services.
Noteworthy milestones of the Liechtenstein financial centre are the customs agreement with Switzerland (1923), the adoption of the Swiss franc as the legal currency (1924) and the foundation of its corporate law (1926). Liechtenstein’s accession to the European Economic Area (EEA) in 1995 facilitated the international market access for its industrial and financial sectors and ensured regulation conforming to European standards. Since 1995, Liechtenstein has also been a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The foremost advantages of the Liechtenstein financial centre are:
- A liberally conceived corporate law
- A safe economic and political environment in the centre of Europe
- Free movement of capital with Switzerland and the European Union
- The Swiss franc as a stable currency
- A business-friendly tax environment with attractive taxation of natural and legal persons
- An efficient banking system
- A highly modern infrastructure and good transport connections
- A high degree of discretion combined with adherence to international law standards for the prevention of money laundering and organised crime