Tuesday, March 21, 2017

UBS Reportedly Going to Trial in French Case (3/21/17)

Reuters has this report:  Joshua Franklin and Maya Nikolaeva, UBS faces French trial in long-running tax case (Reuters 3/20/17), here.  Excerpts:
UBS (UBSG.S) and its French subsidiary face trial in France after a long-running investigation into allegations that the Swiss bank helped wealthy clients avoid taxes. 
* * * * 
French magistrates have ordered that UBS stand trial on charges of aggravated tax fraud and money laundering as well as illegally offering related services, a judicial source said. 
* * * * 
Magistrates were expected this week to order a trial after negotiations failed to produce a settlement in the long-running probe into allegations UBS helped clients avoid taxes, Reuters reported on Sunday. 
French newspaper JDD said UBS had rejected a 1.1 billion euro ($1.18 billion) settlement proposed by prosecutors. 
The JDD quoted Markus Diethelm, UBS's group general counsel, as saying a 1.1 billion euro payment was "unthinkable" and out of line with similar settlements reached in other countries.
The report also offers UBS's response, the the standard one for the guilty and the innocent to this type development:
"We will now have the possibility to respond in detail in a court of law," UBS said in an emailed statement on Monday. "UBS has made clear that the bank disagrees with the allegations, assumptions and legal interpretations being made."
The report offers the following related development:
French authorities are also investigating HSBC Holdings (HSBA.L) and last year a source familiar with the matter said the country's financial prosecutor asked for a trial of Europe's biggest bank and its Swiss private banking unit over allegations it helped customers dodge taxes in 2006-2007.

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