According to Reuters, (and this post is being updated), UBS, a Swiss wealth manager, is closing U.S. clients’ offshore accounts because of pressure from the United States Government, and the IRS is benefiting. Read the article and open your minds.
ZURICH, Jan 9 (Reuters) – Swiss wealth manager UBS AG (UBSN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) (UBS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) is closing all the offshore accounts of its U.S. clients, the bank said on Friday, as it comes under pressure from U.S. tax authorities.
The Swiss bank decided in July last year to stop offering offshore accounts to U.S. citizens after it was targeted by a U.S. tax investigation which challenges Switzerland’s famous banking secrecy laws.
U.S. prosecutors have alleged UBS helped clients hide $18 billion of untaxed American money in undeclared accounts. This amounts to around $300 million of annual unpaid taxes, the newspaper said.
UBS spokesman Serge Steiner said the decision to close offshore accounts for U.S. domiciled clients was taken in November 2007. The bank started last year to close cash accounts of U.S. clients holding less than 50,000 Swiss francs ($45,660), he added.
“This is an ongoing process. It started last year and accelerated since last summer,” Steiner said, confirming a New York Times report. As part of the investigation, U.S. authorities indicted UBS’s wealth management chief last year.
UBS, which U.S. authorities say helped wealthy Americans hide cash in offshore bank accounts, will shut about 19,000 offshore accounts, the paper said, quoting unnamed U.S. clients.
Clients will have the option of transferring their assets to one of three U.S.-regulated units — on-shore wealth management units in the U.S., Switzerland and Hong Kong — or other banks, Steiner said.
They may also choose to receive checks, creating paper trails for U.S. federal prosecutors who are checking whether UBS clients used such accounts to evade taxes.
“You can either transfer the money to new banks, or deposit somewhere and get busted,” a UBS client was quoted as saying in the newspaper report.
All banks in Switzerland are bound to strict bank secrecy laws but a Swiss banking source said local private banks would be reluctant to take on any of UBS’ American offshore clients.
The transfer of more than $10,000 to a new bank is something that clients are expected to report to the Treasury Department, the paper said.
In a separate article, the Wall Street Journal said on Friday many U.S. clients of UBS had started to voluntarily turn themselves in to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. The clients have so far avoided serious punishment, the paper said.
The gist of this is that after all these years, a Swiss banking giant is rolling over for the US Government and the IRS. Does that sound a bit outlandish to you? Have the Swiss ever asked for anybody’s “by your leave” when it comes to banking and money, and now all of a sudden they are letting the Bush Administration tell them what to do? Does the last line about the IRS make any sense to you? “The clients have so far avoided serious punishment…” We are talking about $300 Million in unpaid taxes ANNUALLY. Is this the same IRS we used to know?
What is much more likely is what I have been hearing lately about China losing interest in buying our new debt, and how our dollar is going to be devalued to the point where our money is not worth the paper that it is printed on. Do you think the Swiss are going to have all that worthless paper sitting in their banks? Has anybody been listening to Jim Rogers and Peter Schiff?
November 25th, 2008
Jim Rogers (Part 1 of 5, view the rest at the link)
You may be a bit skeptical about what Jim Rogers has to say about our economy and the money flowing to the east so I thought I would share a little story with you about a real everyday person. Today I went to see my eye doctor who I have known for years. We were chatting about the economy and he stated to me the exact same issues that Jim Rogers covered in the video, and added that he is currently learning Chinese.
Have you ever heard the saying “if you want to succeed at something, follow the footsteps of someone that has”?
Rosetta Stone and Chinese will be coming to my house soon, and/or, we kick every single one of our elected officials that are going along with this travesty to the curb. What say you? Is anybody ready to take our country back?
(Author’s Update: UBS is listed as a corporate member of the Council On Foreign Relations. Thought you might find that interesting.)