Inside Wealth

UBS Denies Helping Wealthy Germans to Avoid Tax

UBS headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.
Steffen Schmidt

UBS denied allegations it is helping wealthy Germans dodge taxes by telling them to move funds to Singapore and other money centers ahead of a Swiss tax deal coming into force in January.

"We do not help clients to evade taxes and we clearly don't support clients in circumventing bilateral tax agreements, including the one with Germany," UBS private bank boss Juerg Zeltner told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.

He outlined a host of measures which the Swiss bank has implemented following a lengthy U.S. civil and criminal battle where it eventually pleaded guilty in 2009 to aiding wealthy Americans dodge taxes using hidden Swiss accounts.

UBS is reported to have advised German clients to move funds to Singapore to avoid detection by tax authorities ahead of a withholding tax which may come into effect January 1, an accusation Zeltner rejected.