UBS chief sees "economic warfare" against banks

The chief executive of Switzerland’s leading UBS bank, Sergio Ermotti, says the attacks on the country’s banking secrecy law amount to “economic warfare”.

This content was published on April 22, 2012 minutes and agencies

He accused foreign business competitors and politicians of undermining Switzerland’s finance industry over the past four years.

“Their aim is to weaken Switzerland’s two internationally successful banks,” he said in an interview with the SonntagsZeitung newspaper.

He said rival financial centres in Europe and the United States were hoping to win additional market shares from the Swiss banks which have SFr2.2 trillion ($2.4 trillion) of assets under management.

Ermotti said Switzerland had already made many political concessions which would lead to about 20,000 jobs losses in the banking industry over the next few years.

He added that the policy and regulatory changes, approved by parliament, had been pushed through in a hurry.

Ermotti’s statements echo similar accusations by his predecessor, Oswald Grübel, earlier this month.

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