SWITZERLAND: French judges will decide UBS tax evasion appeal in September.

As published on expatica.com, Wednesday 24 March, 2021.

Swiss bank UBS must wait until December to hear the verdict of its appeal against a €4.5 billion (CHF4.9 billion) tax evasion penalty imposed in 2019.

Prosecutors and the French state are now demanding a minimum €2 billion fine plus €1 billion in damages, but the Swiss bank has argued for an acquittal.

During the appeal case in Paris, which lasted from March 8 to March 24, UBS insisted that there was insufficient evidence to convict the bank of deliberately soliciting tax evaders to hide their assets in Switzerland. It said that exclusive events it hosted between 2004 and 2012 were for marketing purposes, similar to the activities of other banks.

But the prosecution insisted that the original guilty verdict was correct, pointing to testimony from several whistleblowers.

On the conclusion of the hearing, judges said they would give decisions on certain legal points in June and deliver a final verdict three months later.

A previous landmark French court case ruled that fines should be based on the amount of tax evaded and not on the total value of assets held in accounts.

UBS has so far set aside just €450 million in legal provisions to cover the cost of the case.

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