UBS uncovers "limited number" of tax fraud cases

28 November 2008

Swiss investment bank UBS said yesterday (November 27th) that it has uncovered "a limited number of cases" of tax fraud as part of an inquiry by US authorities looking at whether it helped wealthy clients to evade the Internal Revenue Service.

The institution's chairman, Peter Kurer, indicated to 2,400 shareholders that it could hand details of some of the cases to American investigators, despite the famed confidentiality of the Swiss banking system, Reuters stated.

Mr Kurer said such confidentiality "is not there to protect cases of tax fraud".

According to the news site, the US wants the names of around 17,000 clients based in the country who may have used UBS bank accounts in Switzerland to hide their money from tax authorities.

The investigation, which began earlier this year, has already seen the head of global wealth management indicted and could lead to fundamental changes in the Swiss banking system's secrecy laws, the site noted.

In related news, UBS shareholders approved a capital injection from Switzerland's government yesterday that will see the bank receive six billion Swiss francs ($5 billion).

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