UBS’s New Code of Conduct Says No to Evasion

January 13, 2010 Offshore BankingTaxation in Switzerland

ubsThe Swiss bank UBS has issued a new Code of Conduct to its employees expressedly prohibiting them from assisting clients in any form of tax evasion.

In an effort to restore its tarnished reputation UBS has publically announced that all its employees must be aware and follow the bank’s new Code of Conduct, which deals with several issues including cross border business, compliance with international tax laws, and client confidentiality. The 12 page document, which was released on January 12th, must be read this month by every employee, with understanding tests and mandatory signing to be held in May.

The Code of Conduct states that UBS complies with all laws regarding tax reporting and record keeping and will not provide assistance for clients in circumventing their taxation requirements. It also states that the bank will adhere to all regulations within the client’s country. The document also states that UBS is committed to the fight against financial crimes like money laundering, corruption, and terrorism financing. In an assurance to its current clients the Code of Conduct maintains that the bank is dedicated to upkeep of appropriate client confidentiality, disclosing information only with client authority or by strict legal requirements.

Seeking to reassure international Government authorities and clients, the new Code of Conduct aims to enforce that the bank will now follow strictly legal practices in the utmost confidentiality. Commenting on the new code Oswald Gruebel and Kaspar Villiger, UBS Chief Executive Officers, wrote in the documents preface “In the new UBS we will uncompromisingly treat our reputation as our most valuable asset and we will protect it fiercely. Our culture and reputation are ultimately defined by the actions and decisions that each of us makes every day.”

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