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UBS introduces new code of business conduct

Swiss bank UBS has issued a new in-house code of conduct and ethics, along with harsher disciplinary measures for employees and directors who breach the rules.

The text, available on the bank’s website, describes the values of the “new UBS”. Staff pledge to comply with the laws, rules and regulations of the countries in which UBS operates.

Under the heading “Tax matters”, the code pledges that UBS “does not provide assistance to clients in acts aimed at breaching their fiscal obligations”.

The bank, which became the worst-affected European victim of the subprime crisis, has also been haunted by a United States investigation accusing it of helping wealthy Americans illegally evade $200 billion (SFr203.7 billion) in taxes.

It was forced to pay $780 million in fines last year and hand over the confidential details of 4,450 clients.

All 69,000 UBS staff must now sign to confirm that they have read and understood the new eight-page code, which is broader in scope and more explicit than the previous version.

The code, prefaced by UBS Chairman Kaspar Villiger and Chief Executive Oswald Grübel, also lays out potential sanctions against employees who violate the code, including warnings, demotion or dismissal.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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