French Court Fines Swiss Bank $A7 Billion

A French court has found Swiss bank UBS guilty of illegally soliciting clients in France and laundering the proceeds of tax evasion, and ordered it to pay 4.5 billion euros ($A7.1 billion) in penalties.

Shares in UBS fell 2 per cent. A lawyer for UBS said on Wednesday the bank would appeal the ruling.

Bildergebnis für French Court Fines

The penalties, almost equivalent to the bank’s net profit last year, included a 3.7 billion euro ($A5.9b) fine and additional damages of 800 million euros ($A1.3b) to the French state.

UBS has denied any wrongdoing. An appeal could see the case drag on for years, analysts say.

UBS has set aside $US2.46b ($A3.44b) to cover potential losses from litigation and regulatory requirements.

The French trial follows a similar case in the United States, where UBS accepted a $US780 million ($A1.1b) settlement in 2009, and in Germany, where it agreed to a 300 million euro ($A475m) fine in 2014.

Last month UBS reported a 2018 net profit of $US4.9b ($A6.8b).

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