UBS Group AG will on Wednesday seek to convince France’s top court to overturn a reputation-damaging conviction and €1.8 billion ($1.9 billion) penalty for helping wealthy French clients stash away undeclared funds in Swiss accounts.
(Bloomberg) — UBS Group AG will on Wednesday seek to convince France’s top court to overturn a reputation-damaging conviction and €1.8 billion ($1.9 billion) penalty for helping wealthy French clients stash away undeclared funds in Swiss accounts.
The hearing comes nearly two years after the Paris court of appeals more than halved UBS’s initial fine but upheld a finding that the firm had illegally laundered funds.
The UBS legal saga in France has rumbled on for more than a decade. It’s featured failed settlement talks, a banking boss calling his staffers “egomaniacs,” a whistle blower spying on former colleagues during tennis matches at the French Open and investigators accusing the bank of deploying tactics “worthy of James Bond” to avoid detection by authorities.
The Cour de Cassation will examine UBS’s guilt, the penalty it received and the damages award. UBS’s total penalty included €800 million in reparation for the French state, a €1 billion confiscation order and a €3.75 million fine.
UBS declined to comment ahead of the hearing.
UBS was also convicted of covertly and unlawfully dispatching Swiss bankers in France to encourage prospective clients to move money across the border.
The nation’s top court could take several months to deliver a verdict. If its interpretation diverges from the 2021 ruling, it could opt for a re-examination by a different panel of judges at the Paris appeals court.
UBS acquired local rival Credit Suisse in a rescue that closed in June. The deal has set the bank on one of the most complex integrations since the financial crisis, which includes efforts to keep key talent in certain areas while shedding other aspects of the business.
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