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UBS Chief Doesn't Fear Exodus If Withholding Tax Introduced

by Philip Morton, Investors Offshore.com

12 December 2002


Speaking to the Basler Zeitung news service this week, the head of UBS's wealth management and business banking operations, Marcel Rohner revealed that the bank does not fear a massive outflow of assets from the Swiss banking sector if a withholding tax on non-resident savings interest is eventually imposed as a result of the EU's Savings Tax Directive.

As the debate continued to rage around the Swiss, with Luxembourg refusing to accept the voluntary information exchange/withholding tax package put forward by the government, Mr Rohner reasoned that during the recent Italian tax amnesty, between 80-90% of investors chose to keep their assets in Switzerland.

This, according to the UBS chief executive officer, clearly demonstrates that there are other considerations than tax at play in deciding to locate wealth in Switzerland.

Mr Rohner concluded the Basler Zeitung interview by observing that in his opinion, the withholding tax model represents the way forward for Switzerland in an EU context.

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