UBS decides against pursuing its former directors in the courts

SWISS bank UBS will not sue its former bosses after risky bets on subprime mortgages and a strategy of helping its US clients dodge taxes by hiding money in secret accounts brought the seemingly invincible group to its knees.

Zurich state prosecutors also said they would not open criminal proceedings against UBS employees as there was no evidence of a breach of Swiss law.

UBS said bringing charges would only draw negative attention as the wealth management group seeks a fresh start to win back trust after massive withdrawals by rich clients.

“The board has decided that years of uncertainty about these matters due to litigation ... and related negative attention from such action is not in the interest of UBS, its employees, clients and shareholders,” the group said in a statement.

UBS said the board had decided not to take action after a thorough review, including consultation with external legal experts. It said its new management led by banking veteran Oswald Gruebel had taken “comprehensive and profound measures to ensure that nothing like this should ever happen again”.

Earlier this year, the world’s no. 2 wealth manager, with $1.7 trillion in assets and the leader in the super-wealthy sector, appointed Gruebel as chief executive.