The Stash

It's Hard Out Here For A Swiss Banker

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The Journal has a fairly satisfying story this morning: 

Swiss private bankers are becoming wary about traveling abroad, underscoring how hard a global crackdown on tax avoidance is hitting the discreet business of providing banking services to the wealthy.

UBS AG, the world's largest manager of private wealth by assets, has barred "client-facing" staff in its wealth-management divisions from traveling abroad -- a move aimed at avoiding further trouble for the bank, which has had two bankers arrested as part of a continuing U.S. investigation into tax fraud. ...

The travel jitters come as leaders of the Group of 20 developed and developing nations have redoubled efforts to crack open the secretive tax havens where private bankers often park their clients' money. Following last week's G-20 meeting, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development included Switzerland on a "gray list" of countries that hadn't yet followed through on promises to comply with its directives on sharing tax information.

I guess you're in real trouble if you joined the Swiss banking industry after leaving the Bush Justice Department...

--Noam Scheiber

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