France-UBS bank ordered to pay 4.5 billion euros

0
102

* Swiss bank protests and announces that it is appealing
    * The lawyer of the French State judges historic judgment
    * A warning to all banks

 (With details, other convictions, first reactions)
    by Emmanuel Jarry and Inti Landauro
    PARIS, February 20 (More Bank) – The largest Swiss bank,
UBS UBSG.S, was sentenced Wednesday by the court
correctional society in Paris to pay 4.5 billion euros, one of which
record and unprecedented fine in France of 3.7 billion, for
illegal banking and illegal money laundering
tax.
    The French State, which requested 1.6 billion euros
damages, half of that amount, either
800 million euros.
    UBS shares in Zurich lost 3.15% on Wednesday afternoon.
    "The court can only find that this structure has
constantly make its own financial interests
the prerogatives of the French State ", declared the
President of the Court, Christine Mée, who has followed
to fine the requisitions of the public prosecutor.
    "The criminal offenses noted are exceptional
the magistrate, according to which UBS also
circumvented European rules and "undermined the trust that
must govern all international competitive relationships. "
    The French subsidiary of UBS was sentenced to 15
million euros and five former executives or executives of the
bank to six to 18 months suspended sentences,
with fines of 50,000 to 300,000 euros.
    The former head of UBS's Western Europe division and
former chairman of the supervisory board of UBS France Dieter
Kiefer was sentenced to 18 months suspended sentence and
300,000 euros fine.
    The Swiss bank is accused of helping thousands of
French taxpayers to escape the tax system between 2004 and 2012, this
that the bank denied throughout the trial.
    One of UBS's leading lawyers, Denis Chemla, has
immediately appealed the penal decision and the sanction
civil. "It's a disappointment, many of our arguments have
not heard, "he told reporters.
    
    "STRONG SIGN"
    The bank's legal adviser, Markus Diethelm,
considered, like his employer, that the court had not brought
no evidence of offense.
    "It's an incomprehensible decision," he told the
press. "We've always been convinced that we did our
profession according to Swiss law and French law. "
    "UBS vigorously disputes this judgment" which is based "on
unfounded allegations by former employees of the
bank that were not even heard during the trial, "reads
in a statement from the bank.
    According to her, "this decision amounts to applying the right
French in Switzerland "," undermines the sovereignty of law
Switzerland and raises important issues of territoriality ".
    Xavier Normand-Bodard, lawyer for the French state,
it's on the contrary "clearly a decision that will mark
the history of tax evasion prosecutions and
money laundering tax evasion. "
    An opinion shared by the professor of banking law Thierry
Bonneau, for whom "it is a strong sign sent to all
financial intermediaries: you will be punished severely ".
    "They must be now excessively cautious with
all these issues of tax evasion, "he told More Bank.
    It is alleged that UBS sent to France
to illegally solicit tax residents,
especially during social, cultural and sports events.
    UBS is also accused of bringing "so
habitual "his assistance to the concealment of tax fraud
on income, corporations or wealth. Eric prosecutors
Russo and Serge Roques estimated between eight and 23 billion
euros unreported French assets managed by UBS.
    The fine imposed, unprecedented in France, is also
uncommon with the $ 780 million paid by
UBS in the United States in 2009 or the 300 million euros paid in
Germany in 2014, each time to avoid a trial. Such
arrangement was not possible in France.
    According to a note from investment bank Citibank, UBS
will probably have to increase its provisions to cover this type
of risks and this could jeopardize his project of
$ 1 billion share repurchase scheduled for 2019.

 (Edited by Yves Clarisse)