Monday, February 1, 2010

Switzerland Warns That UBS Could Collapse

Switzerland's justice minister said that UBS could collapse.

The warning was issued with reagrds to the talks with the United States over a high-profile tax fraud investigation. Switzerland and the United States negotiated an agreement under which UBS would provide information of about 4,500 account holders to US tax police. However, a Swiss court ruling earlier this month put the deal in doubt.

Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf told Le Matin Dimanche newspaper: "The actions of UBS in the United States are very problematic. Not just because they are punishable but also because they threaten all of the bank's activities,"

"The Swiss economy and the job market would suffer on a major scale if UBS fails as a result of its licence being revoked in the United States,"

The AFP in an article yesterday says that in Switzerland feel that banking secrecy is a source of pride and a key part of the economy, and many citizens have accused the government of failing to protect UBS.

"We have nothing to blame ourselves for. I don't think anyone could prove that we acted badly," added Widmer-Schlumpf.

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