As a long term UBS shareholder, Ethos is expecting detailed information regarding the mechanisms that led to the write-offs and to the massive losses linked to the US subprime mortgage crisis. In order to clarify the circumstances that drove the Bank to this situation, Ethos has asked that a request for information and a request for a special audit be added to the agenda of the extraordinary general meeting of shareholders scheduled to take place in mid-February 2008.

For Ethos, the request for information and the request for a special audit should bring to light potential risk management and risk control dysfunctions. Ethos has decided to take this step for two reasons: to ascertain compliance with the law and to help enhance future procedures.

The request for information (in accordance with Art. 697 of the Swiss Code of Obligations) is addressed to both the UBS Board of Directors and the Bank's external auditors. In principle, the answers will be given to all the shareholders during the extraordinary general meeting. The questions cover the following subjects:
a) Subjects covered by the questions to the Board of Directors
  • Independence of risk control from risk management
  • Limit to the volume of high-risk transactions 
  • Existence of a special internal audit in 2006 or 2007
  • Risk control relating to the reintegration of Dillon Reed Capital Management
  • Remuneration system for risk control staff
  • 2006 executive remuneration
  • Equal treatment of shareholders and priority rights to subscribe to convertible bonds
b) Subjects covered by the questions to the external auditors
  • Implementation of the Swiss Federal Banking Commission Circular of 27 September 2006
  • Possible restatement of the 2006 accounts
  • Independence and adequacy of the risk management system since 2006
Depending on the answers received, Ethos will propose to the general meeting of shareholders that a special audit be undertaken by an independent expert (Art. 697a of the Swiss Code of Obligations). The special audit must endeavour to establish the facts relating to the request for information.
In view of the important decisions that will be taken at the general meeting of shareholders in February, Ethos calls on all UBS shareholders to participate to this extraordinary general meeting, or to ensure that they are represented.