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UBS client managers ordered to stay at home

UBS, Switzerland's biggest bank, has imposed a travel ban on an estimated 1,000 wealth advisers who deal with clients abroad.

This content was published on April 5, 2009 - 17:59

A bank spokesman on Sunday confirmed media reports that communication between the bankers and their clients would in future be limited to telephone or email.

If a personal meeting were necessary, the client would have to travel to Switzerland, he added.

"UBS is carrying out a comprehensive inspection of its guidelines and rules of behaviour in connection with international wealth management," the spokesman said.

UBS has been involved in a dispute with the United States over wealthy Americans who have assets in the bank.

UBS has provided US tax authorities with the details of 255 wealthy Americans suspected of tax fraud, but refuses to identify about 50,000 more US account holders Washington wants.

Former UBS manager Martin Liechti was held over two months for witness questioning in the US last year in connection with the tax fraud investigation.

US authorities in January charged another senior executive with UBS, Raoul Weil, with conspiring to hide $20 billion (SFr22.6 billion) in assets from the IRS using secret overseas accounts for thousands of wealthy customers. Weil's attorney says that his client is innocent.

And a former UBS banker, Bradley Birkenfeld, pleaded guilty last year in Fort Lauderdale to fraud conspiracy charges and has been cooperating extensively with US investigators.

swissinfo with agencies

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