UBS & The USA & Swiss Banking Secrecy

So the USA gave 40 months of prison time to the guy who gave up UBS… he was partly responsible for 12 convictions (so far) and payments of over 800 million dollars in fines, taxes and interest – he will sleep well in his cell knowing he did the right thing.

Bloomberg had a roll call of the convicted and their sentences, several of the non US citizens have been “declared fugitive”. I will add a link at the bottom of the post.

A Swiss court has now ruled that the handing over of confidential UBS bank details to United States investigators by the Swiss authorities last year was illegal and against the Swiss Constitution. The federal court said the Swiss Financial and Market Supervisory Authority (Finma) abused its power when it ordered that details of 285 account holders suspected of tax evasion in the US be sent to Washington.
Though this won’t help the convicted or the hundreds of others not convicted, who after all paid good money for the privacy and expertise of UBS, it will potentially now lead to a myriad of claims against them.
Carlo Lombardini, expert on banking law in Geneva, came out in favour of the court ruling because it helped to reassure clients. “It proves that the justice system in Switzerland works” he said, well, if that is how it works I leave it up to you to decide whether you need that service.

Saga in Brief:
A Swiss bank that makes more money in the USA than at home is threatened with the loss of its US banking licence.
A weak government who didn’t want to lose face with Obama’s USA batted the decision around until it fell to someone deniable who gave in to the IRS.

4,750 US citizen’s details so far given up to the US authorities.

Swiss Privacy?

The economy of Switzerland is one that relies on the prestige and privacy of their financial institutions. A Swiss banker friend said that the Swiss in general, not just the banks want the whole thing to die away, his bank are not taking on any new US clients and are keen to move the existing clients into trust structures which offer better protection and privacy.

Besides as my Swiss friend says there is now far more potential in offering his services to the Russians, Indians and Chinese!

Business Week Article

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2 Responses to “UBS & The USA & Swiss Banking Secrecy”

  1. So true! It was truly disappointing when the Swiss struck an agreement with the USA to comply with FATCA and it continues to astound at why IOFC are lining up to comply with the USA.

    Confidentiality and anonymity are the hallmark and backbone of the offshore industry and many smaller economies around the world depend on revenue from offshore company formation, offshore banking,etc.

    The Swiss have always been leaders for the rest of the IOFCs around the world to follow. What do you do when the lead person throws in the towel?

    • Might is right – Russia doesn’t comply with Tax info exchange deals and if it did Russian money managers do not report their non russian clients assets to the Russian tax office.
      Go to http://www.formcos-russia.eu if you or your clients want extra levels of asset protection and secrecy guaranteed by Russian law!
      Thanks for the comment.
      John.

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