UBS Lays Out Employee Ethics Code

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Jan 13, 2010 8:55 pm

This is funny.   

They have been hiding money for drug dealers, tax cheats, nazis etc for a 130 years.

UBS Lays Out Employee Ethics Code


ZURICH–UBS AG Tuesday issued an employee code explicitly banning staff from helping clients cheat on their taxes, as part of the Swiss bank’s effort to restore its reputation after a messy U.S. probe into hidden offshore accounts.

“We do not provide assistance to clients or colleagues in acts aimed at deceiving tax authorities,” according to the code, which is prefaced with remarks from UBS Chairman Kaspar Villiger and Chief Executive Oswald Grübel. The code, which also addresses issues such as financial crime, competition, confidentiality and diversity, is meant as a response to wrongdoing in UBS’s U.S. offshore arm, which has since been shuttered.


The eight-page code also lays out potential sanctions against employees who violate it, including warnings, demotion or dismissal. “In the new UBS, we will uncompromisingly treat our reputation as our most valuable asset and we will protect it fiercely,” Messrs. Villiger and Grübel write in the preface. (See the code of conduct.)

The new code comes less than a week after former UBS banker-turned-key informant against UBS, Bradley Birkenfeld, began a 40-month sentence Friday for his role in helping the bank’s clients evade taxes.

A criminal probe against UBS was settled early last year through a $780 million settlement and handover of roughly 300 client data, while a civil one brought by the Internal Revenue Service was set aside in August in return for 4,450 client data, which Switzerland—which has stiff secrecy laws—is in the process of handing over.

The probes have negatively affected the reputation of UBS’ flagship private bank, with clients leaving in droves. A total of 16.8 billion Swiss francs ($16.54 billion) of funds from wealthy clients left UBS in the third quarter. The bank is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings Feb. 9.

In the code, the bank said it will not allow for retaliation against those employees who in good faith report misconduct.

Jan 13, 2010 9:38 pm

UBS has really become a joke. How many brokers will they lose this year? 1,500? How many clients? 18 months of consistent negative net client assets, a grotesque balance sheet and no sign of a return to profitability. Add in disillusioned managers, ops staff and brokers and brand degradation far worse than any competitor and Ozzie needs to think about studying up on the Birkenhead Drill.

Jan 14, 2010 9:48 pm

Soapy…you got that right. They are now chasing out anyone doing under $500k. Everyone in my office who isn’t already under contract is looking for a new home–including the biggest producers in the office.

Does management really think everyone is going to sign a 7 year deal to get a crappy little check?

Jan 15, 2010 8:15 pm

Hopefully, someone will actually post facts in this thread at some point, since none of you have gotten close yet.

Jan 15, 2010 11:59 pm

Facts? OK UBS is losing brokers, assets, clients, money, brand value and more. Them R fax.