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Subject:  Swiss banking secrecy caving in Date:  10/4/2008  6:23 AM
Author:  SuisseBear Number:  257518 of 539023

... as far as their US clients are concerned, owing to pressure from the recent UBS tax case.

From an 'oldfashioned' Swiss perspective, UBS compromised its offshore private client base by desperately pursuing their goal to strike it big in the Anglosaxon investment banking world, too - setting themselves up as an easy target for blackmail due to the corresponding size of their US operations:

The veil of Swiss banking secrecy is quietly being lifted — by Switzerland.

Switzerland’s tax authorities, under pressure from a growing United States investigation into the Swiss bank giant UBS, are expected to hand over confidential data on wealthy American clients of UBS to the Justice Department,The New York Times’s Lynnley Browning reported, citing two people briefed on the matter.

The move would represent a significant shift in Switzerland’s banking secrecy laws, whose tradition dates to the Middle Ages.

UBS began handing over data on hundreds of American clients with offshore private banking accounts to the Swiss taxing authority starting in August, The Times said.

The delivery to the Justice Department, expected to take place within several months, would place American client names in the hands of federal prosecutors seeking to build criminal cases against wealthy Americans they suspect of tax evasion.[...]
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