UBS said to be 'very pessimistic'

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UBS is “very pessimistic” about reaching an agreement with French authorities to settle a case of alleged tax fraud that forced the bank to post a $1.2bn bond to cover any potential penalties three years ago, Journal du Dimanche reported.

Bloomberg News reports that France’s financial prosecutor is seeking a 1.1 billion-euro fine from UBS to settle the case with no admission of guilt from the bank, the French newspaper said Sunday, citing unidentified sources.

“Such a large amount is unthinkable vis-a-vis our shareholders as well as vis-a-vis other jurisdictions with which we have negotiated,” UBS General Counsel Markus Diethelm said in an interview with JDD, in quotes the bank confirmed. “It’s not at all the market price.”

UBS has been pushing to settle the French investigation for less than the 300 million euros it paid to resolve a similar issue in Germany in 2014, people familiar with the matter said earlier this month. The Swiss bank is looking to pay less than what it cost to resolve the German case as the French wealth-management market is much smaller, the people said at the time.

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UBS 'Very Pessimistic' About Settling Tax Fraud Case in France

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