The Swiss banking giant, UBS, simply cannot escape the allegations of money laundering. In July 2014 Facing Finance reported on the illegal business practices of the Belgian UBS branch and the opening of a formal impeachment process of Marcel Brühwiler. Now a few weeks later, the same institution is being accused of helping wealthy French cheat the French Treasury and the Paris office is being charged with repeatedly violating French law between the years 2004 and 2012. It has emerged that bank officials approached wealthy customers offering to open them accounts in Switzerland to avoid French taxes. The wooing of customers is not allowed under French law.1 To conceal the cash flows between France and Switzerland UBS are said to have used a special accounting system.2
In a statement the bank said “In recent years we have done everything to possible to resolve this matter. We have also taken significant and far reaching steps to ensure tax compliance of our customers and will continue to do this.” The bank also raised an issue with the fact that this had become so politicised.3 Due to the illegal recruitment of customers a preliminary amount of 2.9 Million Euros was set.4 This payment has since increased to 1.1 billion and is expected to be deposited by the end of September. The bank is currently denying the charges and calls them ‘unprecedented and unjustified’.
- BoerseGo.de: Frankreich ermittel gegen UBS wegen Geldwaeschevorwurf: Available at.: http://www.boerse-go.de/nachricht/frankreich-ermittel-gegen-ubs-wegen-geldwaesche-vorwurf,a3830084.html Last checked on 24/7/2014 [↩]
- Focus Online: UBS soll reichen Franzosen bei Steuerhinterziehung geholfen haben. Available at: http://www.focus.de/finanzen/news/wirtschaftsticker/maerkte-ubs-soll-reichen-franzosen-bei-steuerhinterziehung-geholfen-haben_id_4012321.html Last checked on 24.07.2014 [↩]
- Handelszeitung: UBS in Frankreich: Justiz will 1 Milliarde Kaution. Available at: http://www.handelszeitung.ch/unternehmen/ubs-frankreich-justiz-will-1-milliarde-kaution-643579 last checked 24.07.2014. [↩]
- Focus Online: UBS soll reichen Franzosen bei Steuerhinterziehung geholfen haben. Available at: http://www.focus.de/finanzen/news/wirtschaftsticker/maerkte-ubs-soll-reichen-franzosen-bei-steuerhinterziehung-geholfen-haben_id_4012321.html last checked 24.07.2014. [↩]