UBS vs US Landmark Court Case Signals Concern on Offshore Banki
Ongoing litigation between wealth management giant UBS and the US Justice Department who are demanding the Swiss institution release data on 52,000 names of US taxpayers holding offshore accounts is set to become a landmark legal case. Tax avoidance remains the issue and if UBS ultimately releases the information it sets a president for a multitude of other overseas banks who cater to high end private banking such as HSBC will be in a position to comply.
The US Government is taking a hard line on offshore sheltering of wealth both through this and spearheading a drive with the UK though the OECD in effectively shutting down offshore tax free havens. Singapore in the past few years has become a global leader in wealth management offering little transparency in terms of foreign residents holding account; though this looks to be under international scrutiny back of the OECD and money laundering concerns.
In Phuket a large portion of high end real estate is held by foreign nationals or controlled by tax haven offshore entities such as the BVI. Many industry watchers are eyes these issues with interest to view an impact on the struggling property market.