UBS, the world's largest wealth manager, is facing embarrassment over fresh revelations going back to the tax investigation that led to the collapse of Swiss banking secrecy. Two significant events are looming before UBS. The first is the possibility of a public trial in France, featuring UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld, concerning historic tax evasion allegedly orchestrated by the bank. That could happen this year.
The other is the publication this October of Birkenfeld's scathing new book, Lucifer's Banker, which covers his time at UBS.
The tax evasion controversy, which was first highlighted in 2005, subsequently involved the US Department of Justice, the State Department and Internal Revenue Service. It was prompted by disclosures made by Birkenfeld that UBS had helped wealthy US citizens evade taxes using offshore financial vehicles and Swiss-numbered accounts.
In 2009, UBS paid $780m (£588m, €693m) to US authorities to avoid prosecution.