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The chairman of UBS and former German central banker, Axel Weber, says the bank has a zero tolerance policy for bankers helping clients evade taxes.
Weber told the German Handelsblatt newspaper that UBS doesn’t help clients skip tax responsibilities by advising them to move money to Singapore or other places, as some German politicians have alleged.
Weber’s comments follow a barrage of rhetoric from German Social Democrats who fiercely oppose a tax deal with Switzerland.
The head of the government in the German state of Rheinland Palatinate Kurt Beck told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper that he doesn’t expect further negotiations on a deal, and he criticized Swiss banks for allegedly advising clients on how to invest money so German state coffers lose out.
Social Democrat party leader Sigmar Gabriel recently went farther, equating Swiss bank practices to those of organized crime.
“You cannot be really mad at the Socialists in Germany, if they use that kind of rhetoric, because they say ‘well, the Socialists in Switzerland are all saying the same things,’” former UBS CEO Oswald Grübel told WRS in an interview.
Grübel gives the German tax deal a 50-50 chance of passing, but does it matter?
“Not in my opinion, but there are a lot of bankers that think it does matter,” Grübel said.
Social Democrats are convinced they can sink the tax deal with their majority in the upper house of Parliament.
If they don’t, the deal would go into effect next year.