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Swiss bank UBS could faces five-billion-euro fine in France

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Swiss bank UBS could face a five-billion-euro fine if found guilty of money-laundering money for customers who dodged taxes in France. The bank is suspected of having canvassed wealthy French citizens to set up dual accounts to hide cash in Switzerland.


UBS on Tuesday made a 1.1 billion-euro bail payment in France in a case concerning accusations that it helped wealthy French customers avoid tax in France and hide money in Switzerland.

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The bank was charged with tax fraud in July and ordered to pay the bail.

An appeal by UBS was rejected and, according to Swiss daily Le Temps which says it managed to see the judges' order,  "this deposit might only be an appetizer".

"The judges in charge of the case state in black and white the amount of the fine UBS will have to pay if convicted: it could be up to five billion euros," wrote Le Temps in its Friday edition. 

The alleged money-laundering occured between 2004 and 2012.

UBS denies the charges.

"We cannot control the irresponsible disclosure of confidential documents or their selective interpretation," the bank said in a statement.

UBS said last month that it would appeal to European Court of Human Rights.

UBS is also seeking immunity in a US investigation into allegations it has been involved in rigging foreign exchange rates, charges that are also being examined in the UK.

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