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Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - Ex-UBS employee sues bank over film tax scheme losses
Source -
Where - United Kingdom
Cost - 40,000 GBP
Business line - Corporate Services
Copyright © International Adviser ( 2021

UBS Group is under fire from its former global head of HR who claims he was invited to invest in a “free punt” film tax scheme.

According to Bloomberg, Steven White is suing UBS after investing £40,000 ($56,610, €46,544) in an Ingenious film investment scheme, which was eventually declared to be a tax avoidance scheme by the UK authorities.

The report states that White said a colleague had called the investment “safe as houses” and “wholly without risk” when they discussed what to do with his bonus in 2005.

White said the colleague admitted to using his own bonus in a previous scheme and claimed that other investors had received tax rebates.

International Adviser contacted UBS and Ingenious for a comment.

UBS declined to comment and Ingenious did not reply in time for publication.

According to a legal filing seen by Bloomberg, UBS denied that the colleague would ever have labelled the investment as a “free punt” or “bet.”

The bank said it never provided tax advice and relied upon Ingenious’ own advice.

It added that White was a “sophisticated investor with substantial financial experience,” and the bank sent sent him a letter about the scheme noting “his adventurous attitude to investment risk”.

White’s involvement in the case came to light after a court hearing this month to decide who should represent UBS in the lawsuit.

The infamous Ingenious film schemes have been in the limelight for many years.

Celebrities and footballers who invested in films like Avatar and Life of Pi have been suing banks, investment firms and advisers for giving bad advice.

Investors were told they would receive tax relief on 100% of the money they had put in, despite only being eligible for a 30% exemption.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) won a first-tier and an upper tribunal case, resulting in them being hit with a collective £451m tax bill.

Some of the celebrities involved were David Beckham, Guy Ritchie and Sacha Baron Cohen.