UBS Not to Pay Fine; Will Disclose 4450 Names, 10,000 Accounts

August 19th, 2009

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the landmark settlement in the UBS legal battle will require the Swiss banking giant to disclose information on 4450 individuals resulting in the disclosure of information on 10,000 of the 52,000 American accounts held by the bank.  It is additionally being reported that UBS will not be paying a fine.  From the WSJ:

UBS AG will hand over some 4,450 names of U.S. account holders as part of a U.S.-Swiss tax-evasion settlement and investigation that could produce in total 10,000 account identities, according to people familiar with the situation.

UBS is not expected to pay a monetary fine as part of the settlement, which was negotiated between U.S. and Swiss officials in recent weeks. The U.S. inquiry was led by the Justice Department and IRS.

Aside from the account identities being turned over by UBS, some 5,000 names are expected to be produced through a special IRS amnesty program where UBS clients acknowledge unpaid income tax.

The 10,000 identities in total also are expected to include the some 250 names produced by UBS as part of a $780 million criminal settlement reached with the Justice Department in February.

So it’s a mixed bag: while certainly a blow to Swiss banking secrecy, the outcome certainly won’t bring an end to the shadow financial system.

Also, there’s still no rationale yet on the reasoning behind this agreement.  We’ll try to keep you updated as news unfolds.

Written by Clark Gascoigne

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