1. Consider this wishful thinking from the article:
"The worn-out cliche has it that the sector was built on banks offering shelter to tax frauds and illicit money. This is a gross distortion," former Deutsche Bank head Josef Ackermann told the Reuters Global Wealth Management Summit in Geneva.
Ackermann, now chairman of Zurich Insurance, said the success of the Swiss financial industry was a result of enduring political, economic and social stability, as well as factors such as low taxes and a multi-talented workforce.
"That is why the scope and quality of Switzerland's financial sector has been, and continues to be, difficult to replicate abroad," he said.
"The unique blend of factors, much more than tax-related motives, have defined the competitive edge of Swiss private wealth management."2. Quickly followed by this:
Strict secrecy laws, which protect the identity of bank clients, have helped Switzerland to become the world's biggest offshore financial center, with $2 trillion in assets.3. And, later, these somewhat inconsistent statements:
UBS, Switzerland's biggest bank, has warned that it could lose up to 10 percent of its European assets of 300 billion Swiss francs ($314.6 billion) as clients come clean about untaxed accounts.
But Juerg Zeltner, head of the UBS private bank, said that trend was not leading to an exodus of clients.
"Most keep the assets where they are ... we are very happy with the retention rate," Zeltner told Reuters, adding that clients wanted to keep their Swiss accounts to diversify their exposure or because they were happy with their advisers.
"Sometimes we sell short the advantages we have here in Switzerland," he said. "There are very, very many good reasons for many, many wealthy clients to bring money into Switzerland."
Though UBS and other global players are likely to attract the fortunes of the newly rich in growing markets such as Asia and Latin America, smaller Swiss banks face a struggle to adjust to life without tax-evading Europeans.Certainly in the competition for global wealth, the U.S. will benefit from the loss of bank secrecy because it offers the expertise and stability to compete for that business where it is not placed at unfair advantage by countries, such as Switzerland, who formerly could help their clients cheat.