Julius Baer posts profits drop over fine in US tax-dodging case

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Zurich (AFP)

Swiss private bank Julius Baer said Monday that net profit plummeted in 2015 due to a provision linked to a US probe into the bank's role in helping Americans evade taxes.

The bank said net profit dropped 67 percent to 121.2 million Swiss francs (109 million euros, $119 million) last year.

The fall comes after the Zurich-based bank put aside a 547.25-million-dollar provision to cover a fine it faces following the US criminal investigation.

Authorities around the world have been clamping down on tax evasion in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Chief executive Boris Collardi said in a statement that the bank expected it would "soon be able to complete the court process and announce the final resolution" following the final approval of the settlement.

Julius Baer was among around a dozen Swiss banks placed under criminal investigation by the US Justice Department, including the country's second largest bank Credit Suisse, which was slapped with a $2.8-billion fine.

Without the US provision, Julius Baer said profits would have grown last year by a fifth to just over 700 million Swiss francs.