Wednesday, July 23, 2008 | Categories: Episodes
It's Wednesday, July 23rd.
Swiss banking giant UBS says it will stop setting up tax havens for wealthy Americans trying to keep their money away from the tax man.
Currently, It's also announced the construction of several large, unmarked chocolate coin factories in the Cayman Islands.
This is The Current.
It's the place where foreign money goes to hide, much of it dirty. Whether it's siphoned off by dictators, Nazi loot stolen from holocaust victims, or wealthy businessmen just trying to keep their money out of the hands of the taxman. Swiss banks have sheltered them all. But the veil of secrecy is tearing.
On-going hearings by a United States Senate Subcommittee into offshore tax havens have forced Switzerland's biggest bank to show its hand.
Recently, UBS announced it would give up the names of clients engaging in tax fraud to U.S. investigators. The tax-evading accounts are worth $18-billion dollars.
But it turns out UBS was doing more than just sheltering money from the IRS.
The Senate hearings have also discovered that UBS bankers were targetting wealthy North American clients - including Canadians - and training them to avoid suspicion by tax agencies like the Canada Revenue Agency using techniques you might expect from a spy thriller. UBS has four offices in Canada: Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. We talked about how this plays out.
Changes to Swiss Banking
Also, Tom Cardamone walked us through how this changes Swiss Banking. He's the managing director of Global Financial Integrity, a washington-based organization that lobbies to stop illegal capital flight from the United States. He joined us from Washington.
Listen to Part One:
Insight into Marie Claire Bylik
She was once among the world's best disabled athletes. A blind swimmer who made her mark at the Para-Olympics in the 1990s. A woman who went on to beat athletes who did not have a disability. But since then, Marie Claire Bylik -- or Marie Claire Ross as she was once known -- has gone on to face challenges that have proven even tougher to conquer. Here is CBC radio reporter Teddy Katz's documentary, called "Insight." It first aired on The Current in December.
Listen to Part Two: