UBS- Impact of case on US Wealth Management?

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Jul 10, 2009 12:14 pm
What's the impact this is having for FAs at UBS right now if any?

NEWSMAKER-Tough U.S. judge set to preside in UBS tax case Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:26am EDT

* Judge has ruled against big business before

* Runs tight courtroom and 'suffers no fools'

* 'Put up or shut up' seen as his message to US government

By Tom Brown

MIAMI, July 10 (Reuters) - The judge presiding over a high-stakes legal showdown between the U.S. government and Swiss bank UBS AG is seen as a straight-shooter who has not shied away from taking aim at big corporate interests.

Some see Judge Alan Gold of U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida emerging as an international mediator as he deals with issues loaded with important foreign policy and financial ramifications, led by U.S. demands for a lifting of Switzerland's treasured bank secrecy laws.

But U.S. attorneys and prosecutors who know him say Gold, a 65-year-old native New Yorker, will studiously avoid doing anything inconsistent with his role as a judge as he handles his biggest and most publicized case since he came to the federal bench in Miami nearly 13 years ago.

"He's about as straight-shooter as they come," said Charles Intriago, a former U.S. federal prosecutor and money laundering expert, who publishes a website for law enforcement officials about asset forfeiture.

"He's the perfect judge for this," he added, referring to the hearing Gold is set to preside over Monday in a suit in which the Justice Department is seeking to force UBS (UBSN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) (UBS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to disclose information on 52,000 secret accounts suspected of being used by wealthy Americans to avoid paying their taxes.

There is little in Gold's record to indicate how he might rule in the case, which experts say could set an important legal precedent since it marks the biggest test ever of Swiss bank secrecy.

Gold grabbed the media spotlight in a business law case once before, when he presided over a class-action lawsuit against Exxon Corp that resulted in a settlement costing more than $1 billion.

Gold surprised some observers of the closely watched UBS case on Wednesday by ordering the Justice Department to say whether it was prepared to seize the U.S. assets of UBS as part of its battle to get the bank to disclose client information.

Jul 10, 2009 9:24 pm


A good advisor keeps their clients educated about current news topics.
Jul 10, 2009 9:27 pm

Maybe waking up the ones with their heads in the sand that U an Us might not be the best place to be right now

Jul 10, 2009 9:29 pm

I think that the case will be settled on Sunday. As part of the settlement UBS will have to sell PaineWebber.

Jul 10, 2009 10:02 pm

secretknowledge you have been pretty accurate in the past, how confident are you in this prediction?

Jul 11, 2009 12:57 am

I think that the case will be settled on Sunday. As part of the settlement UBS will have to sell PaineWebber.

From your mouth to God's ears! 
Jul 11, 2009 1:22 am

I have been a RIF victim of UBS and they are very set on thier agenda of selling this sh*tt…firm before the U.S. Justice Dept. siezes all thier assets.

Jul 11, 2009 1:42 am

Also UBS is going to sell Paine Webber(what a great firm that was…right Don Sutton and Joe Grano) at the bottom. But in typical bank fashion they did buy Paine Webber at the top in 1999 or early 2000.  Then they bought Piper(what a mess) Jaffrey at another top of the market in 2006.  Now they are selling some branches to SF at the bottom and probably the rest as well at a bottom for far less than they paid. Why do clients and producers stay witlh the Swiss henchmen? 

Jul 11, 2009 4:42 pm

Clients stay with the advisor not the firm. All of the firms have there own issues.

Jul 11, 2009 9:22 pm

DOJ has no case.   

  Its Swiss law.   They will setlle before Sunday.    No money.  Under a bil.   Obama's people are idiots     
Jul 11, 2009 11:04 pm

your right they will probably settle for a few billion  after all what’s a few more dollars to a firm who’s lost north of 60 billion in the last 2 years.  It is the UBS way to spend thier way out of sh*t rather to spend money to repair thier tarnished reputation by really caring about clients and employees.

Jul 12, 2009 5:41 am


I disagree. DOJ has great case, UBS already admitted guilt in SEC deferred prosecution.

It does make sense to sue them. Company doing business on U.S. soil helps U.S. citizens break the law. In fact, each of these individuals committed perjury if they signed tax forms and indicated that they did not have a foreign account. Last time I looked Swiss law did not apply to acts that are committed on U.S. soil and vice versa.

Jul 12, 2009 8:26 am

These “numbered” accounts were in Switzerland, not US Wealth Managemnt.

  · People will "find out you have a Swiss account" only if you tell them. Swiss law prohibits the bank not only from revealing your balance, but from acknowledging that you're a customer or revealing when you made your last transaction. Bankers can go to jail for violating Swiss privacy laws.
· Banking secrecy evaporates if a Swiss judge is convinced that you have used a Swiss bank to commit a serious crime such as financial fraud, embezzling, money laundering or drug dealing. It has to be a major crime under Swiss law, even if it was committed elsewhere. 
· On the other hand, it's not a major crime in Switzerland to hide money from an ex-spouse or the taxman, so an American divorce attorney and the IRS can't pry information from a Swiss bank. 
Obama's people hate personal individual freedom, free markets and capitilism. 
Jul 12, 2009 8:39 am

Its a game of chicken.  

Obama's SS Nazi DOJ/IRS wants people to turn themselves in.  They have offered better deals for people who turn themselves in. They had criminal evidence on the people that UBS gave them.  Here they are playing games.      This is not really UBS anymore.   The swiss govt has said kiss my a$# on the other names. They have no case.   Its the laws of another GD country.   The judges comments are basically saying to Obama's nazis "dont f&^%$ with me" because I am going to call your bluff.   In other words,  you better be willing to shut down UBS usa (Paine webber) ASAP becasue I will not play these games.   They are messing with laws of a sovereign country.  Its a worthless bluff and the judge knows it.
Jul 12, 2009 10:27 am

Secretknowledge, what now? (delay just announced until Aug. 3rd, then earnings…)

Read that any fine will only reduce tier 1 cap by a small margin and bank has capital…

How do they stay competitive going forward and who are the potential suitors if a sale at this time? Barclays? JPM was mentioned, but…

Comments from anyone?

Jul 12, 2009 12:03 pm

a stay because DOJ has nothing

UBS is telling them to F off   lets go to court.   Obama nazi's lose   its over.  settle for less then a bil.    goes away
Jul 12, 2009 12:27 pm

UBS is spun off with no capital markets business. Grano and Sutton come back to run.


JP Morgan buys.

I think that a new head, spinoff and settlement are all tied together.

They can not let this keep on going forever as it will be bad for U.S. Wealth management business

Jul 12, 2009 12:29 pm

I find your NAZI quote offensive. Maybe you can post a rational thought or scenario instead. Do you have thoughts like those?

Jul 12, 2009 7:25 pm

yikes  powerful.   pls stop

Jul 13, 2009 2:32 pm

WSJ update… as many have stated here… settlement in the works…  It would seem it’s just a question of how many account holders will be deemed fraudulent? Wonder who get’s to decide that. Will UBS sell out some of their own?

WSJ article excerpt… "AG and the governments of the U.S. and Switzerland are deep in talks
to settle a major tax-evasion case that could require the Swiss bank to
reveal some – but not all – of the 52,000 or so account-holder names
the U.S. has sought, according to people familiar with the matter.

On Monday, a Miami federal judge agreed to postpone tax evasion hearings against UBS to allow time for a possible settlement. The high-stakes hearings had been set to begin Monday.

It's the latest twist in a long-running investigation that is prying open the centuries-old tradition of strict secrecy at Swiss banks -- sending shivers among account holders. Earlier this year, the unfathomable occurred when UBS agreed to disclose some 250 account names."