On October 14 UBS has published the "Transparency report to the shareholders of UBS", which is a comprehensive review of the crisis faced by UBS in the past years. In publishing this report, the UBS Board of Directors is fulfilling recommendation 19 in the report published by the control committee of the Swiss parliament at the end of May 2010.
Between March 2009 and the end of May 2010, the control committee undertook an investigation into the behavior of the Swiss authorities when faced with the pressures of the financial market crisis and the handover of UBS client data by the Swiss authorities to the USA. The control committee's report also included a number of recommendations to the Swiss Federal Council for further steps. Recommendation 19 was directed specifically to UBS and called for the following:
That UBS review its internal handling of the sub-prime crisis and its cross-border business in the US;
That the UBS Board provide more transparency with regard to its decision to refrain from initiating criminal and civil proceedings against the former UBS management; and
That UBS inform the public about the outcome and findings.
The UBS Board of Directors takes the information requirements of politicians and the public very seriously. The present report shows the reasons for the massive losses that UBS incurred during the crisis in the financial markets, particularly in connection with positions in the US real estate market. In addition, it sheds light on the problems in the cross-border wealth management business with US clients. The analysis is based on numerous internal and external investigations, the results of which are summarized in the report. The report further shows the changes UBS has made in order to prevent the mistakes it made from recurring. Finally, the Board presents the reasons for its decision to refrain from taking legal action against the former management. The transparency report is completed by two reports from independent experts, who assess the events of the past years from, on the one hand, a legal, and on the other, an economic historic perspective.
Shareholders and interested members of the public are thus given the opportunity to have a comprehensive picture of the events at UBS. For UBS, the publication of the report represents an important step in drawing a line under the events of the past.