Financial Regulatory Forum

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…)

Order for UBS to release client data ruled unlawful by Swiss court

By Jason Rhodes

ZURICH, Jan 8 (Reuters) – The Swiss financial regulator broke bank secrecy law last year when it ordered UBS to hand over the files of nearly 300 clients to U.S. authorities, a Swiss court said on Friday.

Regulator FINMA decided on Feb. 18 to allow UBS to hand over some client data to U.S. tax officials, weakening the country’s strict bank secrecy rules in an effort to end a damaging probe into its biggest bank, which prompted clients to pull billions of francs from accounts and leave in droves.

“Even though FINMA was in a difficult position because of the threat of charges against UBS AG, it should not have ordered unilaterally the passing on of data outside of a proper process of a request for official assistance,” Switzerland’s Federal Administrative Court said.

Banks expected to swallow most of new UK bonus tax

By Steve Slater

LONDON, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Banks are likely to swallow the bulk of the cost of a shock UK tax on bonuses unveiled this week, rather than pass it on to staff or find loopholes, as more countries join the clampdown on payouts, industry experts and sources said.

Britain slapped a special 50 percent tax on bank bonuses on Wednesday, provoking outrage across the industry and raising fears that London will lose talented staff and business to rival financial centres.

But France looks set to follow with its own one-off tax and Germany and other countries may clamp down on the free-wheeling bonus culture that critics say fueled the financial crisis. If more follow, it could reduce the impact on London and also prompt banks to absorb most of the cost, experts said.

U.S. offshore tax amnesty yields big response – IRS

U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Douglas Shulman speaks during an interview with Reuters at his office in Washington October 8, 2009. REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang By Kim Dixon
WASHINGTON, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Some 14,700 rich Americans worried about a U.S. government crackdown on offshore tax cheats came forward to participate in a tax amnesty program, the top U.S. tax official said on Tuesday.

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Swiss to hand over US names of wealthy UBS clients

UBS/TAX   By Jason Rhodes
   BERNE, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Switzerland will hand over the names of wealthy U.S. clients of UBS <UBSN.VX> suspected of tax evasion or fraud, to settle a bitter row that cut through bank secrecy and threatened to bring the bank to its knees. (more…)

Swiss regulate bankers’ pay to curb risk-taking

ZURICH, Nov 11 (Reuters) – Switzerland’s biggest banks and insurers will have to adhere to new compensation rules requiring them to defer the bulk of managers’ bonuses and to strictly align pay to performance, Swiss regulators said on Wednesday.

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Swiss bank J.Baer says tax clampdowns slow money flows

By Jason Rhodes
ZURICH, Nov 10 (Reuters) – Swiss private bank Julius Baer Group AG said money from wealthy clients had been flowing into the group at a slower pace since mid-year due to international tax clampdowns.

Baer, which split its core private bank and asset management operations into two separately listed companies last month, also said on Tuesday it was seeking more acquisitions following its purchase of ING’s Swiss private banking assets.

“We are still open to acquisitions. In principle, the bigger the better,” said spokesman Jan Bielinski, adding Baer was looking in Asia, Switzerland and the rest of Europe.

Swiss would sign Italy tax treaty if off blacklist

ROME, Nov 5 (Reuters) – Switzerland’s Economy Minister Doris Leuthard, visiting Rome on Thursday in the midst of a dispute over tax policies, said her country was willing to sign a double taxation treaty with Italy but only if it was removed from a blacklist of tax havens.

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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 call in Italian envoy to explain bank raids

ZURICH, Oct 28 (Reuters) – Switzerland has summoned the Italian ambassador to demand an explanation of raids by police and tax inspectors on dozens of Swiss banks in Italy, the Swiss Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

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