UBS is a bank now proven to be guilty of systemic fraud.
And now the US Department for Justice is suggesting it assisted at least 52,000 people evade their US tax obligations.
I'm not surprised. It's not alone in such activity. But there's a strange fact that seems to have been ignored in the reporting of all this, and that is the fact that this bank is a major player in the UK. This comes from the UBS UK web site:
When wealth grows, so does the complexity of its management. At UBS your dedicated Client Adviser will seek out the specialist expertise and resources needed to help you achieve your goals, allowing you to benefit from the network and specific skills of UBS, one of the world's leading wealth managers.
As we are long-established in the UK, we understand the unique needs of those living and working here - the tax regime, regulatory environment and legislative issues - and can therefore offer you a complete range of investment services that are personalised to your individual needs.
Through our offices in London, Birmingham, Brighton, Edinburgh, Manchester, Newcastle and Taunton, we offer you local expertise, backed up by global resources
Let me ask a simple question? 52,000 cases of alleged fraud in the USA. So how many in the UK?
Who is officially asking?
Who is investigating?
Who is reporting?
We need to know. Because candidly, I don't trust this bank. It's giving me no reason to do so. In that case why is it still operating here?
And why is it doing so quite so blatantly though tax havens? There's this too from its web UK sites:
1 Curzon Street
London W1Y 7FN
+44 20 7567 8000
+41 1 234 11 11
24, Union Street
St. Helier, Jersey JE4 8UJ
Channel Islands (U.K.)
+44 1534 701 000.
Doesn't that just inspire you with confidence as to their probity? The UK operation seems little more than a front for tax haven activity.
And then look at what they're offering:
Our products and services will assist you in planning and implementing your investment strategies so you can provide the best possible advice and support to your clients. Specialist teams provide expert advice and co-ordinate your access to all areas of UBS.
Products and services:
- Wealth management basic services
With an account and securities account at UBS, your clients have access to all the products and services of a globally oriented bank.
- Open fund architecture
Our offer includes more than 3,000 investment funds licensed for distribution in Jersey.
- Customised Fund Solutions
Assistance in establishing and managing your investment fund project.
- Active Trading Access
Direct access to events on the international stock markets optimizes your investment success.
- Structured investment products
Investment strategies for an optimal risk/return combination. Our specialists will assist you in implementing your own structured products.
- Modern technology
Electronic Banking - This e-banking service provides financial intermediaries with access to up-to-date asset information, reporting functions and financial information.
3,000 offshore funds in Jersey? Just ask yourself how much is involved in that. It has to be billions.
And why in Jersey, I wonder? All available on line for you to manage wherever you are as part of your "open fund architecture" that forms part of your "investment fund project" - located in "structured investment products" (which almost always means 'avoids tax', or worse, in the parlance of these banks).
What does this say to me? That this bank stinks. That's what it says to me.
Regulators should be crawling all over this, now.
And if they're not, why not? After all, is bank surely fails all 'fit and proper' tests to be a regulated financial adviser anywhere in the world now. You just can't be guilty as they have admitted to being and pass that test. It isn't possible. In which case they should be shut down.
So why are they still trading in the UK? Can anyone tell me?