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UBS faces French trial in long-running tax case

Reuters  |  ZURICH/PARIS 

By Joshua Franklin and Maya Nikolaeva

ZURICH/PARIS (Reuters) - and its French subsidiary face trial in after a long-running investigation into allegations that the Swiss helped wealthy clients avoid taxes.

and other European Union countries have launched a campaign to encourage taxpayers to come clean on previously undeclared assets held abroad, and clamped down on aggressive optimization techniques by multinational companies.

"We will now have the possibility to respond in detail in a court of law," said in an emailed statement on Monday. "has made clear that the disagrees with the allegations, assumptions and legal interpretations being made."

French magistrates have ordered that stand trial on charges of aggravated fraud and money laundering as well as illegally offering related services, a judicial source said.

"This is an emblematic (decision) and a little comforting," Eric Bocquet, lead author of an inquiry report on evasion by the French Senate's finance committee, told

"But this is important to see how far it will go...You can't negotiate with justice".

Magistrates were expected this week to order a trial after negotiations failed to produce a settlement in the long-running probe into allegations helped clients avoid taxes, reported on Sunday.

French newspaper JDD said had rejected a 1.1 billion euro ($1.18 billion) settlement proposed by prosecutors.

The JDD quoted Markus Diethelm, UBS's general counsel, as saying a 1.1 billion euro payment was "unthinkable" and out of line with similar settlements reached in other countries.

settled a case with German authorities in 2014 for around 300 million euros.

A spokesman declined to comment on the trial date.

French authorities are also investigating HSBC Holdings and last year a source familiar with the matter said the country's financial prosecutor asked for a trial of Europe's biggest and its Swiss private banking unit over allegations it helped customers dodge taxes in 2006-2007.

HSBC has admitted failings in controls at its Swiss private bank, but has denied any knowledge of wrongdoing. Investigating magistrates will decide on whether HSBC should stand trial.

In a previous case that went to trial, a Paris court fined Swiss private Reyl 1.875 million euros for helping former French Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac hide undeclared funds.

($1 = 0.9301 euros)

(Additional reporting by Simon Carraud in Paris; Editing by Michael Shields and Alexander Smith)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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UBS faces French trial in long-running tax case

ZURICH/PARIS (Reuters) - UBS and its French subsidiary face trial in France after a long-running investigation into allegations that the Swiss bank helped wealthy clients avoid taxes.

By Joshua Franklin and Maya Nikolaeva

ZURICH/PARIS (Reuters) - and its French subsidiary face trial in after a long-running investigation into allegations that the Swiss helped wealthy clients avoid taxes.

and other European Union countries have launched a campaign to encourage taxpayers to come clean on previously undeclared assets held abroad, and clamped down on aggressive optimization techniques by multinational companies.

"We will now have the possibility to respond in detail in a court of law," said in an emailed statement on Monday. "has made clear that the disagrees with the allegations, assumptions and legal interpretations being made."

French magistrates have ordered that stand trial on charges of aggravated fraud and money laundering as well as illegally offering related services, a judicial source said.

"This is an emblematic (decision) and a little comforting," Eric Bocquet, lead author of an inquiry report on evasion by the French Senate's finance committee, told

"But this is important to see how far it will go...You can't negotiate with justice".

Magistrates were expected this week to order a trial after negotiations failed to produce a settlement in the long-running probe into allegations helped clients avoid taxes, reported on Sunday.

French newspaper JDD said had rejected a 1.1 billion euro ($1.18 billion) settlement proposed by prosecutors.

The JDD quoted Markus Diethelm, UBS's general counsel, as saying a 1.1 billion euro payment was "unthinkable" and out of line with similar settlements reached in other countries.

settled a case with German authorities in 2014 for around 300 million euros.

A spokesman declined to comment on the trial date.

French authorities are also investigating HSBC Holdings and last year a source familiar with the matter said the country's financial prosecutor asked for a trial of Europe's biggest and its Swiss private banking unit over allegations it helped customers dodge taxes in 2006-2007.

HSBC has admitted failings in controls at its Swiss private bank, but has denied any knowledge of wrongdoing. Investigating magistrates will decide on whether HSBC should stand trial.

In a previous case that went to trial, a Paris court fined Swiss private Reyl 1.875 million euros for helping former French Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac hide undeclared funds.

($1 = 0.9301 euros)

(Additional reporting by Simon Carraud in Paris; Editing by Michael Shields and Alexander Smith)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Business Standard
177 22

UBS faces French trial in long-running tax case

By Joshua Franklin and Maya Nikolaeva

ZURICH/PARIS (Reuters) - and its French subsidiary face trial in after a long-running investigation into allegations that the Swiss helped wealthy clients avoid taxes.

and other European Union countries have launched a campaign to encourage taxpayers to come clean on previously undeclared assets held abroad, and clamped down on aggressive optimization techniques by multinational companies.

"We will now have the possibility to respond in detail in a court of law," said in an emailed statement on Monday. "has made clear that the disagrees with the allegations, assumptions and legal interpretations being made."

French magistrates have ordered that stand trial on charges of aggravated fraud and money laundering as well as illegally offering related services, a judicial source said.

"This is an emblematic (decision) and a little comforting," Eric Bocquet, lead author of an inquiry report on evasion by the French Senate's finance committee, told

"But this is important to see how far it will go...You can't negotiate with justice".

Magistrates were expected this week to order a trial after negotiations failed to produce a settlement in the long-running probe into allegations helped clients avoid taxes, reported on Sunday.

French newspaper JDD said had rejected a 1.1 billion euro ($1.18 billion) settlement proposed by prosecutors.

The JDD quoted Markus Diethelm, UBS's general counsel, as saying a 1.1 billion euro payment was "unthinkable" and out of line with similar settlements reached in other countries.

settled a case with German authorities in 2014 for around 300 million euros.

A spokesman declined to comment on the trial date.

French authorities are also investigating HSBC Holdings and last year a source familiar with the matter said the country's financial prosecutor asked for a trial of Europe's biggest and its Swiss private banking unit over allegations it helped customers dodge taxes in 2006-2007.

HSBC has admitted failings in controls at its Swiss private bank, but has denied any knowledge of wrongdoing. Investigating magistrates will decide on whether HSBC should stand trial.

In a previous case that went to trial, a Paris court fined Swiss private Reyl 1.875 million euros for helping former French Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac hide undeclared funds.

($1 = 0.9301 euros)

(Additional reporting by Simon Carraud in Paris; Editing by Michael Shields and Alexander Smith)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

image
Business Standard
177 22