Former UBS chairman willing to give evidence-report

March 9, 2010

   ZURICH, March 9 (Reuters) – Former UBS <UBS.N><UBSN.VX> chairman Marcel Ospel is willing to give evidence to a parliamentary committee into the Swiss government’s bailout of the bank during the financial crisis, daily Blick reported on Tuesday.
   “Of course I will be available to the business examination committee and contribute to clearing up open questions,” Ospel was quoted as saying.
   “I have nothing to hide,” he said.
   UBS said in December it would not sue its former bosses after risky bets on subprime mortgages and a strategy of helping U.S. clients dodge taxes by hiding money in secret accounts brought the Swiss bank to its knees. [ID:nLDE5BE0VX]
   Ospel said he had yet to be invited to speak to the parliamentary committee examining the government’s action on UBS.
   He could appear before the committee soon as the politicians were due to present their report at the end of May, Blick reported.
   “We cannot comment on whether Mr Ospel will talk to the committee as he is no longer with the company and operates as a private person,” a UBS spokesman said.
   Switzerland had to rescue its flagship bank in 2008 after UBS wrote down $52 billion in the crisis.
   Ospel and other ex-board members agreed to return 33 million Swiss francs ($30.7 million) in payments from the bank after a media campaign against excessive bonuses, but UBS said the move should not be seen as an admission of guilt.
   UBS shares were 1.7 percent lower at 0915 GMT, compared with a 1.4 percent fall in the STOXX European banks index <.SX7P>.
   (Reporting by Jason Rhodes; Editing by Erica Billingham)
   ((; +41 58 306 7312; Reuters Messaging: ($1=1.075 Swiss Franc)
 Keywords: UBS/OSPEL
Tuesday, 09 March 2010 09:19:22RTRS [nLDE6280G1] {C}ENDS

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