Monday, March 23, 2009

UBS Bank- A Swiss or an American Bank?

U.B.S., a "Swiss Bank" in Name Only

Because of the troubles/ travails that UBS bank and its US clients have encountered with the US government, it has been assumed, by some people who really should know better, that this means that Swiss banks in general are no longer safe for US law-abiding depositors demanding financial privacy, and that their accounts are no longer shielded from the prying eyes of the US government.

As usual, nothing could be further from the truth.

Surprise! UBS is Subject to US Banking Regulations and Tax Law.!

Even though UBS originated in Switzerland, and even though it has many branches worldwide, merely by maintaining branches in the USA [even just one], legally speaking, as far as any U.S citizen depositor is concerned ,U.B.S. is NOT a Swiss bank subject only to Swiss banking law , Swiss tax law [tax evasion is not a crime in Switzerland] , and Swiss courts, but effectively a US bank subject to US banking law, US judges and courts.

The negative publicity that the UBS case has generated about Swiss Banks in general is, as well as being the product of ignorance about the subject, most likely primarily designed to:

[1] scare US citizens into staying within the establishment US banking system [UBS is a foreign intruder/competitor on a domestic market dominated by B of A, Chase, etc.], and...

[2] to discourage thoughts of tax evasion by US taxpayers. Notice how the story has been built up post Christmas, in the New Year, before tax filing deadline of April 14th 2009. Expect this story, plus others in a similar vein [i.e. "B.B.B." or "basic bush-beating] to increase in frequency through 04/14/09.

If you want financial privacy via an offshore bank account [for whatever reason], and while it is still legal to do so, do not open such an account with any bank that has ANY branches in the US, or even has branches in an overseas territory at the mercy and influence of the US government..

Confiscation/ Seizure of US Citizen Depositors Funds

Remember also, any bank account held in the US or overseas that is subject to US law , in any US regulated domestic or foreign bank branch [ie still subject to US law], can be easily frozen, or even confiscated ", merely on suspicion", pre-trial, even pre-sentencing, by virtually any federal agency or by any federal judge, literally on a whim.

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