UBS Sanctioned For Madoff-Related Losses by Luxembourg Financial Services Regulator

In Europe, the Luxembourg Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) has censured UBS’s Luxembourg-based branch for failing to execute due diligence and, as a result, allegedly allowing for the massive losses investors have incurred from the Bernard Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzi scam. The Luxembourg financial service regulator is accusing Switzerland’s biggest bank of a “serious failure” in the way it managed a feeder fund that funneled assets to Madoff-related investments. Luxembourg’s CSSF is giving UBS three months to remedy the problems.

UBS, however, is disputing the CSSF’s claim that it violated its contractual obligation to clients. The investment bank says the Luxalpha fund was set up at the request of wealthy clients that wanted a tailor-made fund that would let them invest their assets with Bernard Madoff. UBS says these clients knew that it was not responsible for their assets’ security.

Following news of the Madoff scheme and revelations that some French investors had allegedly lost billions of dollars because their investments were channeled to Madoff through Luxembourg-based mutual funds, the European Commission announced it would start investigating the way EU member states use the EU mutual fund regulatory regime (UCITS, which refers to Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities).The EU also said that approval of a new regulatory regime will more than likely be delayed so more changes can be considered to ensure that investors are protected in the future from losses such as the ones that occurred with Madoff.

The French government accused UBS of lax supervision of mutual funds. French officials have also accused Luxembourg of being lax when it comes to EU mutual fund regulations. They’ve called on the EU to come up with stricter rules. Luxembourg, which has one of the EU’s mutual fund financial service sectors, disagrees with France’s accusations.

Madoff’s scheme has resulted in massive losses for individual investors, institutions, world financial markets, politicians, charities, and many others.

Luxembourg regulator censures UBS over Bernard Madoff, Times Online, February 26, 2009
French investors to take legal action against banks over Madoff feeder funds, Times Online, January 14, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Feds say Bernard Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzi scheme was worst ever, Daily News, December 13, 2008
Luxembourg’s Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier

The stockbroker fraud law firm of Shepherd Smith Edwards & Kantas LTD LLP represents investors in the US and abroad that have incurred financial losses because of Madoff’s $50 billion ponzi scam. Contact our securities fraud lawyers to schedule your free consultation.