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UBS appeals French tax-evasion penalty

A French appeals court found UBS guilty of concealing serious tax fraud and illegal banking activities in France between 2004 and 2012, when it sent Swiss bankers to court well-heeled French clients.

(AFP) — Swiss bank UBS on Monday filed an appeal with France's top court over 1.8 billion euros ($2 billion) in penalties it was ordered to pay for helping French residents evade taxes.

The Paris appeals court last week imposed the penalties upon UBS for its role in helping French residents commit tax fraud between 2004 and 2012.

"UBS has filed an appeal with the French Supreme Court regarding the decision of the Court of Appeal, including a fine of EUR 3.75m, the confiscation of EUR 1bn, and civil damages of EUR 800m," read a company statement. 

UBS said it filed the appeal within a statutory five-day notice period to "thoroughly assess the verdict of the Court of Appeal and determine next steps in the best interest of its stakeholders".

The Paris appeals court found UBS guilty of concealing serious tax fraud and illegal banking activities in France between 2004 and 2012, when it sent Swiss bankers to court well-heeled French clients.

French prosecutors said almost 10 billion euros were shielded from the eyes of their tax officials over that eight-year period ending in 2012.

The Appeal Court ruling reduced the original fine of 3.7 billion euros handed down in 2019 by the trial court -- France's largest such fine for tax evasion -- to just 3.75 million euros. However, it ordered the confiscation of the 1 billion euro caution that UBS had to advance and left unchanged the award of 800 million euros in damages to the French state.

The Swiss bank noted last week that an appeal would only suspend the payment of the fine of 3.75 million euros, whereas the payment of the damages worth 800 million euros is due upon request by the French state.

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© Agence France-Presse

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