INSTANT VIEW: Reactions to UBS tax deal

ZURICH Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:55pm EDT

Related Topics

ZURICH (Reuters) - The Swiss government will hand over details of about 4,450 bank accounts to U.S. authorities as part of a deal struck with Washington over UBS, it said on Wednesday.

Here are some reactions to the news:

ROY RYAN, PARTNER AT LAW FIRM SCHELLENBERG WITTMER

"The agreement is an important step toward respecting Swiss banking secrecy, it means the U.S. government has to go through established procedures in which the rights of account holders are protected under Swiss law.

"Those laws not intended to protect criminal activity, but to protect the rights of account holders in Swiss institutions."

GEORGE CLARKE, ATTORNEY AT MILLER CHEVALIER,WASHINGTON D.C.

"The whole structure seems to me a pretty substantial win for UBS. They managed to get out of the situation they were in without getting a further fine, they will only disclose a small portion of the number of names.

"The disclosure is being done consistent with Swiss due process. That's a win for UBS, it's a win for Switzerland.

"Unless the Swiss process is going to be opened to a John Doe type summon that basically says we want to know the name or we want to know the information of any U.S. taxpayer who has an account in Switzerland, then it seems to me the Swiss bank secrecy hasn't changed that much."

MATTHEW CLARK, ANALYST AT KEEFE, BRUYETTE & WOODS

"Most of the details had been leaked so this is pretty incremental news. But it's a necessary step and it's good to get it out of the way.

"The fact that there is no fine is not a surprise. This always seem to be about disclosures and scaring people into making disclosures rather than fining UBS."

UBS CHAIRMAN KASPAR VILLIGER

"This agreement helps resolve one of UBS' most pressing issues. I am confident that the agreement will allow the bank to continue moving forward to rebuild its reputation through solid performance and client service.

"UBS welcomes the fact that the information-exchange objectives of the settlement can be achieved in a lawful manner under the existing treaty framework between Switzerland and the United States."

SWISS BANKERS ASSOCIATION

"The Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) welcomes the fact that the USA and Switzerland have been able to find an out-of-court solution to the legal problems of UBS in the U.S. and finds the details of the agreement convincing.

"The out-of-court agreement avoids a prolonged legal battle that would have had an uncertain outcome and UBS can now continue with its consolidation process in an atmosphere free of this legal uncertainty.

"This is of crucial importance for the Swiss financial center because international clients rely very much on the predictability and stability of the Swiss legal system."

(Editing by Simon Jessop)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

BOSTON, ONE YEAR LATER