UBS imposes travel ban

7th April 2009, Comments 0 comments

Swiss bank stops staff from seeing clients abroad.

GENEVA - Swiss bank UBS banned wealth management advisors from making business trips abroad to see foreign clients, a spokeswoman for the bank said Sunday.

Swiss media reported that about 1,000 UBS staff were ordered earlier in April to rely on e-mail or telephone contacts with clients abroad, fearing repression by foreign regulators.

"I can confirm there is a travel ban for client-facing wealth management staff," UBS spokeswoman Eveline Mueller told AFP.

"We are currently conducting a comprehensive review of the policy and compliance framework in international wealth management," she added.

Mueller said the suspension would remain in place at least while the review of the "complex international regulatory environment" was underway. She declined to give further details.

The review was understood to be international in scope and not confined to a particular region.

UBS is the first Swiss bank to publicly confirm a ban on business travel to advise clients abroad, following reports of such action at some of the smaller, elite private banks in recent weeks.

Switzerland's biggest bank is at the centre of a broadening investigation in the United States into alleged tax fraud or evasion by hundreds of American citizens, and is still facing potentially costly litigation by US justice authorities.

It also suffered severe losses in the financial crisis, and in recent weeks both its chairman and chief executive were replaced.

AFP / Expatica

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