Swiss Trust World United (STWU)

About Us

Our Organization

STWU was founded on July 5, 2007. It is an association established under the Swiss Civil Code, with its registered office located in Zurich, Switzerland.

STWU aims to promote and develop trustee activities in Switzerland, to ensure the excellence, professionalism and integrity with professional and ethical standards in the Swiss trust industry.

Our Goals

STWU’s goals are:

  • To become the leading organization specialized in promoting and developing trustee activities in Switzerland.
  • To ensure the excellence, professionalism and integrity of Swiss trust business;
  • To gather entities that are active in the trust industry and have operative offices in Switzerland to exchange expertise, resources and ideas on trust-related matters;
  • To enhance the status of the trust industry in Switzerland, improve the reputation of trustees’ activities, and increase the acceptance of services provided by those engaged in trust business;
  • To improve technical support in management, legal, administration and other trust-related topics, as well as to support high-level education in these areas;
  • To obtain the recognition and support of the Swiss government and other global influential institutions, associations and commissions;
  • To conduct and support research and studies, as well as to propose technical, practical but non-political suggestions and statements to the government and other institutions in order to improve the legal basis of Swiss trust business.

Our Achievement

STWU's achievements since its establishment

Since its establishment in 2007, STWU has continuously achieved the important goals set at the beginning, which has brought many remarkable advantages to its members. One of the advantages is that our members have been able to benefit from various training activities, workshops and conferences (such as STEP-STWU Lausanne Conference in 2015).

The annual Barclays/STWU symposium held in Geneva and Zurich that focuses on current topics is also a popular platform for peers to exchange knowledge and ideas.

STWU and its representatives are also widely recognized for their conference speakers, as well as the release of numerous professional articles and media statements.

STWU developed a “White Book” to address the regulation of Swiss trust companies (refer to the White Book in our download section for further information). According to STWU, the regulation of the Swiss trust industry is the best way to improve the reputation and trustworthiness of the Swiss trust industry and Swiss trustees. In such context, STWU maintains regular contact with other influential professional institutions or public institutions, such as the Swiss governmental administration and financial sector associations.STWU has initiated submitted proposals, such as the automatic exchange of information on tax matters (AEoI), the OECD mutual administrative assistance on tax matters or regarding the regulation of asset managers and trustees in relation to the current FIDLEG/FINIG discussion. As a matter of fact, STWU’s perseverance has led to the inclusion of the trustees in the Financial Institutions Act.

Other than that, STWU also confirmed through legal opinions that discretionary trusts are not covered by the Swiss/UK tax agreement.

In addition, STWU also engaged with the National Secretariat of International Financial Matters to discuss about the implementation of FATCA.

STWU has also set up multiple working parties focusing on taxation, regulations and compliance issues. These working groups meet on a regular basis to provide input for STWU to deliver to various commissions and authorities.

Lastly, it is worth mentioning that STWU organizes many important events in London for UK private client consultants who want to promote Switzerland as a jurisdiction for family structures administration.