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UBS Silent on Secret Accounts, But New Yorkers Vocal

An executive from UBS AG who addressed a conference on the risks of long-distance business partners declined to answer whether recent revelations of Americans tax-shielded UBS accounts would make U.S. firms reticent to deal with the Swiss bank.

An executive from UBS AG who addressed a conference on the risks of long-distance business partners declined to answer whether recent revelations of Americans tax-shielded UBS accounts would make U.S. firms reticent to deal with the Swiss bank."I can't comment," Suzanne Aquino, executive director of corporate sourcing, told BS&T, a week after Zurich-based UBS reached an unprecedented settlement with the U.S. government in which it agreed to provide the identities of individuals shielding approximately $20 million from the U.S. tax authorities. UBS also agreed to pay a $780-million fine. Aquino was asked for comment after she spoke at the Swiss radio on whether they were aware of the case and would treat Swiss businesses differently now. Yes and no, respectively, they (including BS&T's own) told Roman Elsener, who reported for Swiss radio.

UBS's systems reportedly recorded individuals as numbers only (so-called "no name" accounts) and the amounts of their investments as symbols, with ducks and swans representing amounts of $100,000 and $1 million.

The UBS case is expected to have wide implications for the $7 trillion-offshore banking industry by making it harder to try to circumvent tax laws.

Elsener asked me "will you now boycott Swiss chocolate?" Ah steady on, it would have to be something really serious for that to happen...

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