UBS admits tax fraud in its midst for US inquiry

UBS revealed yesterday it had uncovered ‘a
few cases of tax fraud’ as part of the US inquiry into its role in helping
wealthy Americans evade taxes through accounts in Switzerland.

‘Our investigations have uncovered a limited number of cases of tax fraud
under both US and Swiss law,’ Peter Kurer, chairman, told the 2,400 shareholders
who had gathered to vote on UBS’s SFr6bn (£3.5bn) capital raising with a
convertible bond issue to the Swiss state.

UBS is also under pressure from another US tax investigation which led to the
indictment of the bank’s head of global wealth management this month and
threatens to weaken Switzerland’s much-guarded banking secrecy laws,

Kurer maintained UBS still intended to make a profit in 2009, but stressed
market conditions remained difficult. UBS made a small third-quarter profit,
chiefly as a result of tax gains and accounting factors.

Further reading:

US customer in Swiss court to protect UBS account

UBS chiefs aware of problems before SEC probe

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