Financial Regulatory Forum

Switzerland says goodbye to light touch regulation

By Rachel Wolcott

LONDON, May 3 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - These days even the Swiss are fed up with their bankers. The financial crisis has riled Swiss citizens to the point that the Alpine country’s reputation for light-touch financial regulation will soon be a thing of the past. In a direct democracy such as Switzerland, where every citizen can vote on laws and even propose them, the people have spoken. What they have said is: we want more rules and regulation for bankers and asset managers.

“In the past people were against regulations which seemed too restrictive, but this is changing. The public mood is still critical vis-à-vis the banks and the culture of big bonuses for board of directors and management. Now we may see overregulation also because of the immediate political pressure facing a direct democracy,” Marc Raggenbass, head of the regulatory, compliance and legal practice at Deloitte in Zurich, told Thomson Reuters. (more…)

Swiss central banker backs universal bank model – paper

Jan 16 (Reuters) – Switzerland’s two big banks — UBS and Credit Suisse — should not be forced to split their wealth management and commercial banking operations into separate entities, the new head of the country’s central bank said on Saturday.

Philipp Hildebrand, who took over as chairman of the Swiss National Bank at the start of the month, said the universal banking model provided useful synergies for Swiss banks.

Hildebrand has said repeatedly that major Swiss banks need tighter regulation to deal with the “too big to fail” problem.

Swiss should tighten rules on UBS, CS further-OECD

Credit Suisse, UBS: Too big to fail?   By Sven Egenter
   BERNE, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Switzerland should tighten the reins on UBS and Credit Suisse further as a failure of the banks may push the economy over the edge, the OCED said on Friday, backing Swiss regulators in their push for tougher regulation. (more…)

Credit Suisse to pay $536 million for U.S. violations

By James Vicini and Dan Margolies

WASHINGTON, Dec 16 (Reuters) – Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse Group AG will pay $536 million for failing to comply with U.S. laws, including Iran sanctions violations, according to U.S. court documents filed on Wednesday.

The documents outlined the violations and the settlement, which is known as a deferred prosecution agreement, that ended a five-year investigation.

Later on Wednesday, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau plans to announce a deferred prosecution agreement with Credit Suisse, “in which the Swiss bank admits to violating New York State law by falsifying the records of New York financial institutions,” his office said.

U.S. sanctions-violation fine for Credit Suisse raises Iran alarm

By Lisa Jucca and Steve Slater

ZURICH/LONDON, Dec 16 (Reuters) – A surprise $536 million settlement by Credit Suisse to a U.S. probe over financial dealings with Iran should only do short-term damage to the Swiss bank, but others could now be in the line of fire.

Credit Suisse said late on Tuesday it was in advanced talks over a settlement to a U.S. investigation into payments made between 2002 and 2007 involving countries and entities hit by U.S. economic sanctions. A person familiar with the issue said the probe related to dealings with Iran.

The Financial Times said U.S. authorities are believed to be investigating nine banks in relation to Iran, without citing sources.

Swiss hunt Italian agents as tax row deepens

ROME, Oct 29 (Reuters) – A row between Italy and Switzerland over tax evasion deepened on Thursday with one Swiss region launching a hunt for Italian agents trespassing on its soil as Rome warned against retaliation for its raids on Swiss banks.

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Swiss regulator says UBS, CS pass stress test

A general view shows the Paradeplatz square and the headquarters of Swiss banks UBS and Credit Suisse in Zurich October 23, 2008. Swiss banking heavyweight Credit Suisse said it had further cut its exposure to illiquid U.S. assets as it confirmed its hefty third-quarter loss on Thursday, but warned the rest of the year would be tough.    ZURICH, Oct 2 (Reuters) – Switzerland’s two large banks, UBS and Credit Suisse, could weather a severe deterioration of the economy, Swiss banking regulator FINMA said on Friday, publishing its conclusion from a stress test for the banks. (more…)

Swiss regulator says UBS,CS face special regulation

finma-logo   ZURICH, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Switzerland’s two global banks UBS and Credit Suisse may face tighter regulation than other domestic and international competitors, the country’s banking regulator FINMA said in a strategy paper published on Wednesday. (more…)

U.S. tax evaders rush to beat amnesty deadline

By Kim Dixon
WASHINGTON, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Rich Americans who have evaded taxes by hiding foreign holdings have about a week to turn themselves in to an Internal Revenue Service amnesty program or gamble they will not be caught.
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UBS to disclose U.S. bank details, others face scrutiny

SWITZERLAND/ By Jason Rhodes and Kim Dixon
BERNE/WASHINGTON, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Switzerland will hand over details of about 4,450 UBS bank accounts to U.S. authorities, settling a tax dispute that has threatened Swiss banking secrecy, the two governments said on Wednesday.

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