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Regulator Finma defends actions in UBS crisis

Switzerland’s financial watchdog said it acted correctly during a tax evasion and credit crisis that put Swiss bank UBS at risk as well as the whole economy.

A parliamentary report in May said the government failed to act quickly to prevent the bank’s credit woes and had exerted pressure on the regulator to order UBS to hand over client data from about 4,450 accounts to United States tax authorities.

The watchdog - the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma) – argued in a statement on Friday that it had advised the government “clearly and in good time” that it would ultimately be obliged to order the disclosure of the client data under the Banking Act.

Finma was not put under pressure from the government, it added.

The regulator said it had no evidence of wrongdoing by UBS executives relating to the damaging US legal action and there were no grounds to investigate their business conduct if they again took executive positions at another Swiss financial institution.

However, they would have to sign a written declaration that they had no knowledge of an breaches of duty if they took up new positions. Any false declaration would lead to criminal proceedings, Finma said.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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