Oldest Swiss Bank Tells Clients to Sell U.S. Assets or Leave

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by ASusilovic, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. Sept. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Wegelin & Co., Switzerland’s oldest bank, is telling wealthy clients to sell their U.S. assets, or switch banks, because of concerns new rules will saddle investors with tax obligations in the world’s biggest economy.

    U.S. proposals to extend reporting requirements for banks whose clients buy American stocks and bonds coupled with estate tax liabilities that may be inherited by the heirs of people who have such holdings prompted the advice from the St. Gallen, Switzerland-based bank, said Managing Partner Konrad Hummler.

    “We came to the conclusion that it’s a threat to our clients,” Hummler, who is also president of the Swiss Private Bankers Association, said in an interview yesterday in Zurich. “It’s also a threat to us as a bank because as a custodian we are an executor to the estate. We find this aspect discomforting, so we recommend selling all American securities whatsoever.”

    Hummler said he plans to raise the subject today at a meeting of the Private Bankers Association, which counts Pictet & Cie., Lombard Odier & Cie. and Mirabaud & Cie. among its members. Swiss banks, which manage $2 trillion, or 27 percent, of the world’s privately held offshore wealth, are struggling to protect bank secrecy after the government agreed to hand over the names of 4,450 UBS AG clients to U.S. tax authorities.

    Hummler said he won’t ask every member of the association to follow Wegelin’s lead. Wegelin, founded in 1741, manages more than 20 billion Swiss francs ($18.7 billion) in client assets.


    Ouch !
  2. Daal


    Switzerland is becoming the 51 US state
  3. That's just it, they're not. They're giving the big ol' middle finger to Uncle Sam. Good on 'em.
  4. We'll be sure to return the favor.
  5. Somehow I don't think the U.S. has much it can hang over the Swiss.
  6. zdreg


  7. If that does indeed happen, then the Swiss will be out in the cold. But we'll see if it does.
  8. Some other country will pick up the slack. Nobody is going to let a multi billion dollar industy just go away.
  9. dealmaker


    I am all for free markets etc. but Swiss blatantly broke US laws now its time for them to pay the piper. I agree one of the other
    off shore banking nations will pick up the slack however, this may be the end of Swiss banking as we know it especially if, all the other nations start piling on.
  10. Highterm


    Did i understand this correctly that Foreigners owning US stocks will be subject to US Inheritance tax on those stocks?

    So, if i kick the bucket tomorrow, my heirs will pay tax on those Microsoft shares that i own??

    Surely this is not correct?
    #10     Sep 2, 2009