Swiss banking giant UBS experienced mixed fortunes on Monday when the Paris Court of Appeals took a hatchet to the record-breaking fine imposed on it in 2019 when it was found guilty of helping wealthy French clients evade taxes.
Three months later than expected, the fine has been more than halved to €1.8bn.
But it remains guilty of promoting illegal banking services and money laundering – which has left UBS licking its reputational wounds and considering further action.
‘If the decision is appealed’
In a statement, the bank said: “UBS AG was found guilty of unlawful solicitation and aggravated laundering of the proceeds of tax fraud relating to the bank’s cross-border business activities in France between 2004 and 2012. The court imposed a fine of €3.75m as opposed to €3.7bn in the first instance.
“In addition, the court has ordered the confiscation of €1bn. The court also awarded civil damages to the French state of €800m, unchanged from the first instance. The award of civil damages will be payable upon request by the French state.
“UBS (France) SA was acquitted on charges of aiding and abetting of laundering the proceeds of tax fraud and was found guilty of aiding and abetting of unlawful solicitation. The court has ordered a fine of €1.875m.
“The fines imposed on UBS AG and UBS France S.A. would be suspended if the decision is appealed.
“UBS will review the decision and consider all options, including appeal.”