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Peter Voser and the UBS scandals

Voser was said to have provided significant input to the stabilization of the scandal ridden Swiss bank. Ironic spin given that the Swiss Justice Minister warned only months later that UBS was in danger of collapse. It actually has a reputation riddled with more holes than Swiss cheese.

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By John Donovan

The Sunday Times reported at the weekend (page 2 of the Business Section) that UBS, the Swiss bank, is being investigated by French authorities regarding allegations that it helped wealthy clients to evade tax.

Extract

“Investigators are looking into claims that UBS advisers tried to coax French customers to move cash to Switzerland to sidestep the taxman between 2002 and 2007.”

From April 2005 to April 2010 the current Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the Swiss national, Mr. Peter Voser, served on the Board of Directors of the Swiss bank UBS AG. He was a member of the governance and nominating committee and of the strategy committee. He was well paid. For example, in the year 2008/2009, Voser received over $1 million USD (in Swiss francs) from UBS in “compensation” and shares.

Voser was said to have provided significant input to the stabilization of the scandal ridden Swiss bank. Ironic spin given that the Swiss Justice Minister warned only months later that UBS was in danger of collapse. It actually has a reputation riddled with more holes than Swiss cheese.

This is the bank with a track record of fraud and as a tax dodging facilitator stretching back over the time when Peter Voser was an independent non-executive director.

He was supposed to scrutinize the performance of UBS management monitoring and where necessary removing senior management, as well as satisfying himself that financial information was accurate and that financial controls and systems of risk management were robust and defensible. (Information sourced from Wikipedia)

Mr Voser was also member of the Swiss Federal Auditor Oversight Authority from 2006 until December 2010.

UBS Bank was recently fined $1.5B for libor rate manipulation during the very period that he was supposed to be performing an independent oversight function as a non-executive director. According to news reports, rigging was widespread at UBS. The U.S. Justice Department referred to the UBS rate-rigging as an “epic” scandal. Now Shell is accused of oil price-fixing, and tax avoidance in relation to the Arctic exploration shambles.

Interesting to note that the reference to UBS that used to be shown on the Peter Voser Wikipedia page has been deleted.

Extracts from CBS news report 19 December 2012

Switzerland’s UBS AG agreed Wednesday to pay some $1.5 billion in fines to international regulators following a probe into the rigging of a key global interest rate. In admitting to fraud, Switzerland’s largest bank became the second bank, after Britain’s Barclays PLC, to settle over the rate-rigging scandal.

As well as being ensnared in the industry-wide investigation into alleged manipulations of the benchmark LIBOR interest rate, short for London interbank offered rate, UBS has seen its reputation suffer in a London trial into a multibillion dollar trading scandal and ongoing tax evasion probes.

“We deeply regret this inappropriate and unethical behavior. No amount of profit is more important than the reputation of the firm, and we are committed to doing business with integrity,” he said.

It’s not the first time that UBS has fallen afoul of regulators. Notably, in 2009, U.S. authorities fined UBS $780 million in 2009 for helping U.S. citizens avoid paying taxes.

The Wall Street Journal writes thatauthorities on Wednesday painted a picture of “routine and widespread” attempts by UBS employees to rig Libor and the euro interbank offered rate, or Euribor. The U.K. Financial Services Authority said it had identified more than 2,000 such attempts between 2005 and 2010 with the participation or awareness of at least 45 UBS traders and executives. Adding to the severity of the allegations, the FSA said UBS engaged in collusive efforts with other financial institutions to rig the benchmarks.

The New York Times writes thatUBS on Wednesday became the first big global bank in more than two decades to have a subsidiary plead guilty to fraud.”; “On Wednesday, UBS announced it would plead guilty to one count of felony wire fraud as part of a broader settlement.”

Related royaldutchshellplc.com articles

Plan to break up disastrously mismanaged UBS bank accused of fraud: Shell CFO Peter Voser is a director: 8 April 2008

Shell appoints UBS *(keep it in the family – Shell CFO/CEO Peter Voser is a director of UBS): 13 May 2009

Swiss warn UBS bank could collapse – Shell CEO Voser is a UBS director: 1 February 2010

Peter Voser, another Shell CEO tainted by scandal: 29 July 2012

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