Wednesday, March 4, 2009

UBS Defies U.S. Government

UBS announced today it is refusing to comply with the I.R.S,' demand that it turn over the names of tax evaders who had used the Swiss Banks' services. The U.S. earlier filed a lawsuit seeking to force UBS to disclose the names of 52,000 people who had major problems with accessing the help feature in TurboTax. The bank, which tangentially saw a mass exodus of its traders and salespeople in offices across the U.S., and especially in its 3-aircraftcarrier-wide trading desk in Stamford once their bonus checks had cleared, is hiding behind Swiss legal code, which does not recognize tax evasion as a crime, only tax fraud (so does that mean in Switzerland avoiding to pay taxes altogther is better than paying a little tax while comitting fraud? seems that way).

UBS released the following statement pleading total and utter ignorance of just how bad the wrath of uncle Sam can be, especially when your central bank has put your toxic assets in a bad bank thanks to his generous swap lines.

“We believe that UBS has now complied with the summons to the fullest extent possible without subjecting its employees to criminal prosecution in Switzerland,” UBS executive Mark Branson said in prepared testimony to the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which held a hearing on the bank. Branson is chief financial officer of global wealth management at UBS. Sphere: Related Content
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Unknown said...

I'm surprised they've complied as far as they have- indicates to me they must be pretty desperate. Bank secrecy is their prime differentiator.

Anonymous said...

The US will not force this issue. There are too many political contributors (and probably politicians) on those lists. This lawsuit is going nowhere fast.

Anonymous said...

By complying to Uncle Sam's request UBS would be breaching Swiss law. If the US wants this list disclosed, they have to speak to the Swiss government and see if they are willing to propose to parliament an amendment to said laws. End of story.

I am amazed that this is being discussed at all. Other countries besides the US do exist and they have laws that are valid for those countries' citizens and corporations. Why is that so hard to understand?

Anonymous said...

Uncle Sam's wrath, haha... Still alive?

babar ganesh said...

there was a story about this story in the NY times a week or so ago -- they said that the us govt almost removed UBS's charter to do business in the US over the issue. i was very surprised the US govt would play hardball with UBS over this at this time. maybe it was all a smoke screen.