A former UBS director has told an Argentinian parliamentary commission visiting France of a network at the bank which assisted Latin American clients launder funds and evade taxes. UBS denies the allegations.
Stephanie Gibaud, who was head of communications at UBS France until 2012, spoke to members of Argentina’s parliament, on a visit to the French capital to investigate undeclared accounts opened at HSBC, following earlier revelations made by Hervé Falciani, a former HSBC employee in Geneva.
Although UBS did not have a branch for private banking operation in Argentina, Gibaud said the company had a “network of external intermediaries, who would arrive in the country as tourists, with ‘clean’ phones, and attend events and dinners to recruit Argentinian clients”.
She also referred to the existence of an “Argentinian office” in Geneva”, dedicated to supporting these illegal transactions.
Gibaud told Argentina’s state news agency Telam, that some thirty individuals were involved in recruiting Latin American clients in Argentina.
“UBS had a manual with instructions on how to attract clients worth between $15 to 20 million [CHF13.7 to 18.4 million] and assist them to evade taxes” shared Gibaud.
Over recent years, she has played a key role in revealing to the French how UBS had helped wealthy clients evade taxes there. In 2014, she published a book, in French, entitled, “The woman who know too much”.
Argentina is hoping to reclaim $3.5 billion in undeclared funds deposited in HSBC, based on the so-called Swiss Leaks revelations made about tax evasion and money laundering at that bank.
UBS told swissinfo.ch in an email: “These statements are simply wrong. They should not be given any credibility, because they were made by a former employee of UBS France who was never involved in or responsible for any business activities outside France.”