Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Have UBS Clients Committed Fraud?

According to this article in Reuters UK, Swiss law experts claim that the suspected 17,000 Americans that hid $20 billion of assets in Swiss bank accounts did not commit tax fraud. The experts state that the Americans have instead exploited a loophole in the US system, and so the Swiss are under no obligation to disclose the customers’ name to US authorities.

UBS, along with many other Swiss banks are under constant pressure from the United States and Germany. Barack Obama has even singled out UBS as one of the banks who has helped many Americans cheat on their taxes. Urs Behnisch, a law professor at Basel University, believes that Americans, “they did not falsify their accounts, and the banks were only obliged to identify the wealth management companies holding U.S. securities, not the people investing in them.”

Do you agree that the Americans did not commit fraud?

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