[PARIS] UBS Group AG was ordered to pay more than 4.5 billion euros (S$6.9 billion) by a Paris court that found the bank guilty of helping wealthy French clients stash funds in undeclared Swiss accounts. Shares of UBS fell as much as 4.8 per cent.
The Paris criminal court ruled on Wednesday that UBS illegally provided French customers with banking services to hide assets from tax authorities. The judge fined UBS 3.7 billion euros and added another 800 million euros in compensation to the French government.
“The criminal wrongdoings were of an exceptionally serious nature,” said Presiding Judge Christine Mee. “These acts were committed behind the veil of opacity.”
For eight years now, UBS has been dealing with the French probe – and bad press. Ahead of last year’s trial, the lender was accused in the indictment of dispatching Swiss bankers across the border to seek out new clients even though they lacked the paperwork to offer such services in France, and also laundering customers’ undeclared funds.