UBS has settled with the German tax authorities to pay a 300 million euro fine, due to the suspicion they were aiding and abetting tax evasion. The prosecution has been investigating the Swiss bank since 2012. The investigation was instigated by the discovery of a CD containing details of UBS clients that was acquired by the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.1 More investigations will now be carried out in France and Belgium as a result of the discovery. As the German market is of essential importance to the Swiss bank, the option to settle out of court with the German authorities in order to avoid a complex legal dispute, has been “a significant step allowing UBS to move forward in this important market”.2 Furthermore, it has stated that 95% of its German clients are now tax compliant and that it will ensure that the remaining percentage will pay their debts by the end of the year.2 This agreement was reached with the Bochum authorities in July.
Another Swiss bank, Credit Suisse, had also been involved in a tax evasion case in Germany which has been dismissed upon a settlement of €150 million in September 2011.3
In 2009 UBS had already admitted to aiding and abetting tax evasion in the US and accepted a $780 million fine. In this case the Swiss bank had supported 19,000 Americans to evade taxes totalling the amount of about $20 billion.4
- Reuters: UBS pays out in German tax case as lawsuits target private bank. Available at: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/29/us-ubs-ag-results-idUSKBN0FY09M20140729 last checked on 07.08.2014 [↩]
- Financial Times: UBS pays €300m to settle probe into tax evasion. Available at: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/23a009e6-1713-11e4-8617-00144feabdc0.html#axzz39hLSBazY Last accessed on 07.08.2014 [↩] [↩]
- Reuters: Credit Suisse to pay 150 million euros to settle German tax. Available at: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/09/19/uk-creditsuisse-idUKTRE78I0YE20110919 Last accessed on 07.08.2014 [↩]
- New York Times: UBS pressed for 52,000 names in 2nd Inquiry. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/20/business/worldbusiness/20ubs.html?_r=0 Last accessed on 07.08.2014 [↩]