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UBS fined for client rip-offs

ONE of the City&rsquo;s foremost investment banks, UBS, was yesterday fined &pound;8m by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) after four former London-based dealers plundered customer accounts to trade and dumped the resulting losses on them.<br /><br />The fine &ndash; the third largest ever demanded by the FSA &ndash; comes after the Swiss bank had to compensate clients by more then $42m (&pound;25.3m).<br /><br />The FSA said UBS&rsquo;s controls failed to stop the employees carrying out unauthorised trades on at least 39 accounts over nearly two years. <br /><br />The four dealers at UBS &ndash; struggling to rebuild its reputation after a high-profile US tax fraud probe -- made up to 50 foreign exchange and precious metals trades a day using customer money.<br /><br />&ldquo;These employees were able to take advantage of UBS&rsquo;s inadequate systems and controls, giving them free rein to make unauthorised trades with customer money that they were then able to conceal,&rdquo; said Margaret Cole, FSA director of enforcement and financial crime.<br /><br />&ldquo;UBS deeply regrets this incident and, having fully co-operated with the FSA&rsquo;s investigation, we are now pleased that this matter has been settled so that we can move forward,&rdquo; UBS said in a statement.