Thursday, May 3, 2012

Did UBS' Kaspar Villiger just call for banks to provide ultra transparency?

According to a Telegraph article, UBS chairman Kaspar Villiger

admitted there had been a "paradigm shift" in attitudes towards tax and that Switzerland should end its culture of banking secrecy....
"For years, banking confidentiality was a key part of the Swiss financial centre's appeal....  
"Banking confidentiality is increasingly losing its legitimacy," he added.
What is replacing banking secrecy and confidentiality and is core to a bank's legitimacy is disclosure of all the useful, relevant information in an appropriate, timely manner.

In short, the pendulum is swinging in the banking industry towards banks providing ultra transparency and disclosing on an on-going basis all their asset, liability and off-balance sheet exposures.

This is not surprising as it was this type of disclosure that marked a bank that could stand on its own two feet as recently as the 1930s.

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