UBS Likely Not to Pay Fine, Only Release 5,000 Names

August 4th, 2009

There’s been some very disappointing news over the past 24 hours leaking out of the UBS settlement negotiations indicating that the Swiss banking giant will not be forced to pay a fine in the case and will only be required to reveal roughly 5,000 names – a fraction of the 52,000o offshore UBS accounts controlled by Americans in Switzerland.   If this indeed is what the final settlement includes, then it will be a sad day for justice.

Indeed the Swiss are even admitting that this settlement plan would do nothing to impart Swiss banking secrecy.  From the Washington Post:

The proposed resolution to a U.S. government demand for information about thousands of Americans suspected of using Swiss accounts to evade taxes would leave Swiss bank secrecy intact, a top Swiss official has said.

The United States has never been in a better position to crack down on offshore tax evasion.  To not utilize this opportunity to strike a lethal blow to Swiss banking secrecy would be very disheartening and would send a clear signal that the Obama Administration is not willing to live up to its rhetoric about cracking down on tax havens.

Check out Richard Murphy’s post here for a more thorough analysis of the case.

Written by Clark Gascoigne

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