Reports disclosed that UBS Group AG, the Swiss wealth manager, has warned some of its bankers not to travel to China after an employee was called by authorities there.
a cautionary note was sent to a small team of private banking advisers. It recommended that they reconsider any travel plans in the region while the bank tried to gather more information regarding the situation.
The banker is based in Singapore. She works in the relationship management team in the wealth management unit of UBS. Reportedly, she still has her passport but she was asked to attend a meeting with authorities for undisclosed reasons after a travelling to see her clients in the country.
Bloomberg reported that the banker had been detained, while Reuters and the Financial Times said that the authorities had only requested her not to leave the country, with all three citing anonymous sources who close to the matter.
The position and identity of the banker are still unknown. The bank has requested others who are assigned to its China wealth management team to carefully reconsider their travel plans, however, it has not extended the recommendation to its other units.
Both the foreign ministry of China and UBS were contacted about the matter and did not respond to requests to issue comments.
According to Asian Private Banker magazine, UBS is the biggest wealth manager of Asia with $383 billion of assets under management, ahead of Citigroup, Credit Suisse, HSBC and Julius Baer. It has increasingly looked at China as a boom market due to its growing wealthy elite, many of whom are attempting to diversify their holdings beyond the borders of the country.
The regulators of the country have been trying to stop capital flight and other forms of evasion by cracking down on non-compliance. They have also made various high-profile arrests in recent months.