Former UBS employee tells all

UBS sign in Geneva, Switzerland


Renita Jablonski: A former employee of UBS says he'll tell American tax investigators everything he knows about the Swiss bank. Bradley Birkenfeld has pleaded guilty to a charge of helping a client dodge taxes. From our European Desk, Stephen Beard reports.

Stephen Beard: Birkenfeld admits that he helped wealthy clients hide cash and other valuables from the U.S. taxman. On one occasion, he smuggled diamonds into America in a toothpaste tube. He set up sham companies in places like Panama and Liechtenstein.

Birkenfeld is due to be sentenced in August. His lawyer says he will "reveal all about what was going on at UBS."

Switzerland's largest bank is clearly reeling. In a statement, it says it is also cooperating fully with the U.S.

Edward Haddas is with the financial Web site Breaking Views:

Edward Haddas: What they haven't said is perhaps more interesting. They haven't accused Birkenfeld of being a rogue trader or denied that some of these practices took place.

Haddas says that UBS may even be considering whether or not to disclose to the U.S. authorities some of the names of its 20,000 American clients.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.


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