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Federal Court to give verdict on UBS tax evasion case 

Swiss Federal Court

The Swiss Federal Court is based in Lausanne - Click to enlarge

The Swiss Federal Court is to decide on Friday whether Swiss bank UBS should handover data on its French clients to Paris tax authorities as part of a crackdown on suspected tax evasion. The decision has been described as key for Swiss banking circles.

In May 2016, the French tax authorities requested administrative assistance from the Federal Tax Administration (FTA). They wanted details about UBS clients who lived or had lived in France, data for more than 40,000 accounts.

The FTA agreed to help in February 2018, but Swiss bank UBSexternal link, along with account holders, filed a complaint, which was upheld by the Federal Administrative Court. The FTA, wanting a specified judgement in the administrative assistance issue, took this to the Federal Court.

Switzerland’s highest courtexternal link will decide whether the bank must give French authorities the account details – including names and addresses – of thousands of French citizens suspected of hiding funds in Switzerland.

That data could be used by prosecutors in Paris against UBS as it appeals the €3.7 billion (CHF4.2 billion) penalty levied in February after the lender was found guilty of helping clients evade taxes in a Paris trial, according to Bloomberg.

+ Read more about that case here

The Swiss banking giant and its French subsidiary were accused in this case of laundering proceeds from tax fraud carried out from 2004 to 2012. UBS denies the charges.

In terms of Friday’s verdict, UBS Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti has said that this week is importantexternal link for the “entire financial centre” in Switzerland.


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SWI – the international service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Since 1999, has fulfilled the federal government’s mandate to distribute information about Switzerland internationally, supplementing the online offerings of the radio and television stations of the SBC. Today, the international service is directed above all at an international audience interested in Switzerland, as well as at Swiss citizens living abroad.
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