(Reuters) - The United States and UBS have initialled agreements to settle a tax evasion dispute, sparing the Swiss wealth manager a lengthy court battle.
Here are some intial reactions:
ALFRED METTLER, FINANCE PROFESSOR AT GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY AND MEMBER OF SWISS TASK-FORCE ON BANK SECRECY
“The lawsuit is gone. But there is a lot of work to be done to implement the settlement, and this will not be done overnight. It will take months.”
“The IRS will certainly increase its efforts to go after non-taxed money wherever it is. The IRS for other cases where a financial institution systematically helped customers not to pay their taxes.
“But you need some evidence and my guess is other banks, not only Swiss banks, must have taken steps to be pro-active.”
THOMAS SUTTER, SPOKESMAN FOR THE SWISS BANKERS ASSOCIATION
“We are very happy that finally a solution has been found and a lengthy lawsuit will be avoided. We expect Swiss law will be upheld, but cannot comment further.”
KEN CRAWFORD, SENIOR PORTFOLIO MANAGER AT ARGENT CAPITAL MANAGEMENT IN ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI
“To the degree that it was an overhang, it is a positive thing. At the very least for investors, one of the top concerns is gone.
“We have to assume they must think it (the agreement) is at least OK for them to sign. What the terms are is to be seen, but at least that issue is dismissed.”
MILAN PATEL, TAX EXPERT AT WITHERS LLP
“This is definitely good news for UBS because it ends the legal battle with the U.S.. However, this may mean that UBS could face a new legal battle in Switzerland if the account holders claim UBS violated Swiss bank secrecy laws by disclosing their names. Thus, UBS may have ended the U.S. legal battle only to start the Swiss legal battle.
“Also, this could impact other Swiss banks depending on the extent Swiss bank secrecy has been eroded by the settlement agreement. It is difficult to calculate the impact now until the terms of the settlement are disclosed.”
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