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UBS far from worry-free despite profits

Stephen Beard Feb 9, 2010
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UBS far from worry-free despite profits

Stephen Beard Feb 9, 2010
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Bill Radke: The Swiss banking giant UBS is finally making money again. That bank suffered the heaviest losses among European banks during the credit crisis. But today, UBS reported its first profit in more than a year — a billion dollars. But as Marketplace’s Stephen Beard tells us, there is trouble behind those numbers.


Stephen Beard: The Swiss banking giant has returned to profit, but today’s results also reveal a worrying trend. The exodus of wealthy clients is gathering speed.

Analyst Michael Prest says the big crackdown on tax evasion in the U.S. and Europe is rattling the nerves of some of UBS’s richest despositors:

Michael Prest: What they’re principally concerned about is that they’re going to be discovered. They’ve basically been fleeing taxes in their respective home countries, and that is now in much greater danger of being exposed than has ever been the case before.

UBS says the return to profit will in time bring back the rich clientele. But Michael Prest isn’t so sure. He believes as the secrecy is eroded, the attractions of Swiss banking will recede.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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