Europe, U.S. Battle Swiss Bank Secrecy

Investigations into UBS and a proposed law against tax havens are ratcheting up pressure against Switzerland's banking regulations

Martin Liechti, a senior executive with the private banking division of major Swiss bank UBS, worked through his business appointments in New York with his usual efficiency. A subsequent trip to the Bahamas for a meeting in late April was also pure routine. In the Caribbean paradise, Liechti was scheduled to attend a supervisory board meeting of UBS (Bahamas) Ltd., and to take a closer look at the options for doing business with America's super-rich, including parking their money in Swiss trust accounts. But Liechti, a man known for his abrasive manner, never arrived in the Bahamas. US officials abruptly ended his trip when he was about to change planes in Miami. Since then, Liechti has been barred from leaving the country because the American authorities are investigating his employer for allegedly helping clients to evade taxes.

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