How bad are things at UBS? Depends whether you’re referring to the battered balance sheet, auction-rate securities mess, or probe into whether UBS helped US billionaires evade taxes. The latter is going badly enough that UBS has told senior members of its private banking division not to travel to the US–presumably for fear that they might get picked up at the airport. FT:
The Swiss bank has also made lawyers available to the more than 50 bankers involved, many of whom have left UBS since it decided last November to wind down its cross-border private banking business for US customers.
The move follows the recent indictment of one of the unit’s former senior executives, Bradley Birkenfeld, who US authorities have accused of helping a billionaire client evade taxes. Mr Birkenfeld has pleaded not guilty and his lawyers have made no public statement on the matter.