UBS said a five-year French probe into allegations it helped clients evade taxes has been completed, bringing the bank a step closer to facing a possible trial and fine.
“We look forward to the opportunity to respond to unfounded allegations,” the bank said in an e-mailed statement on Monday. Investigating judges ended their inquiry into UBS on February 19, according to a spokesman at the French national financial prosecutor. Once the prosecutor’s office files its remarks over the next three months, investigating judges will decide whether or not to send the lender to trial.
Bloomberg News reports that Switzerland has tried to shake off its reputation as the world’s largest tax haven by cooperating with other governments trying to recoup undeclared assets and watering down banking secrecy laws. In 2009, UBS paid $780m to the U.S. to avoid prosecution, admitting it helped thousands of Americans evade taxes and agreeing to turn over information on their accounts.
To access the complete Bloomberg News article hit the link below: