The Principality of Liechtenstein is home to a specialised, stable financial centre with strong international connections. The financial services sector is second only in size to the industrial sector.
Liechtenstein's first bank was founded in 1861. Since then the financial sector has grown to become an important part of the national economy and today employs around 16% of the country's workforce.
Financial service providers based in Liechtenstein enjoy the right to provide services in all countries of the European Union (EU) and the EEA. Moreover, traditionally close relations with neighbouring Switzerland, the customs union with Switzerland and the Swiss franc as the official currency in Liechtenstein give companies privileged access to the Swiss market as well. Liechtenstein is committed to the OECD standards on transparency and information exchange and has an effective system for combatting money laundering and financing of terrorism. The internationally recognised Financial Market Authority Liechtenstein is responsible for monitoring the country's financial industry.
Banks may have the greatest influence within the financial services sector, but Liechtenstein is also attractive to and popular among many other kinds of companies such as insurers, asset managers, funds and trusts.