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UBS warns private banking employees about China travel



The Swiss bank UBS has warned some employees against traveling to China after one of their advisers was asked by the Chinese authorities not to leave the country.

UBS, one of the largest asset managers in the world, sent an internal note to a small team of regional private banking advisers who recommend travel delays in the country as the bank learns more about the situation, such as a person with direct Knowing the Issue

A Singapore-based UBS banker who had recently traveled to China Meeting with clients was asked by government officials to stay in the country to answer questions regarding an unspecified matter and warn the company Encourage the bank.

The banker was not in custody, according to the person, but the circumstances of their situation were unclear

China's Foreign Ministry did not respond immediately to a request for comment on Sunday. A UBS spokesman declined to comment.

UBS is one of the few global banks to operate an onshore wealth management business in China, where the number of billionaires has overtaken most other major economies in recent years. It is Asia's top asset manager with assets under management of $ 383 billion, followed by Citi at $ 256 billion and Credit Suisse at $ 202 billion.

The emerging wealth management industry in the region has been closely watched by Chinese regulators as the country's wealthy elite and its bankers as part of a wider crackdown on capital flight and other forms of tax evasion.

Technology giants Alibaba and Tencent were fined early this year for violations of the cross-border foreign exchange rules in their financial services entities. A booming insurance business in Hong Kong, which helped ordinary Chinese displace their wealth, has also been capped by regulators over the last two years.

Earlier this month, Fan Bingbing, China's highest-paid actress, was fined 479 million ($ 70 million) for tax evasion for 47 million Rmb, after several months of disappearing into the most public disappearance.

Chinese regulators have been trying for a long time to ban capital from the country and further weaken the renminbi. For a long time they have been in a cat-and-mouse game with wealthy Chinese investors who have desperately been hunting for loopholes like gambling in Macau to get their money out of China.

The pressure on these individuals to diversify their investments outside of China has increased following the stock market crash of 2015 and the slowdown in the domestic real estate market.

UBS's investment banking business was under surveillance in Hong Kong. Earlier this year, the company was banned from sponsoring IPOs in Hong Kong for an 18-month period following an investigation into its role in certain city stock exchanges.


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