Swiss banking giant UBS is struggling to get up from its knees after an awful 12 months. Now it is getting in a former Swiss finance minister to steer it through the troubled waters.Chairman Peter Kurer has stepped down after less than 12 months in the job, and Kaspar Villiger takes over. “There is very much at stake. The downfall of a bank like ours would shake an entire country, Switzerland, to the ground, would cost thousands of jobs and billions and billions of taxpayers’ money,” he said. Villeger is staunch defender of Swiss bank secrecy, but that is now under threat since the US justice department started hunting tax dodgers, and those with UBS accounts in particular. He will be looking to limit the damage at UBS and may be keen to stop dangerous precedents being set whereby Switzerland’s other banks have to play the game. He also has the little matter of turning around a bank that earlier this year announced the biggest loss in Swiss economic history.
Villiger takes over at UBS