New Swiss rules to force commodities groups to disclose payments to officials

by Reuters
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 13:35 GMT

ZURICH, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Big commodities groups in Switzerland will have to publish any six-figure payments to public officials under draft anti-corruption legislation announced on Wednesday.

Switzerland, which hosts some of the world's biggest commodities trading groups, aims to make financial flows in the sector more transparent as a way to promote "responsible corporate behaviour", the government said after a cabinet meeting that approved legislation amending corporate law.

The cabinet submitted a bill requiring commodity groups reveal payments to public officials of more than 100,000 Swiss francs ($98,863) per fiscal year.

The bill will now require parliamentary approval.

It also codifies non-binding quotas for women on company boards and top executive posts at major listed companies, joining a campaign in Europe to dilute the traditional male dominance of senior jobs.

Mirroring a government-backed proposal last year, the bill says women should occupy 30 percent of the seats on boards of directors and 20 percent of top management jobs..

Companies would need to comply within five years for board seats and 10 years for executive posts -- or explain why they had missed the goal.

($1 = 1.0115 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Michael Shields; editing by Jason Neely)

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