UBS AG (UBSN)’s French unit has been placed under formal investigation as part of an inquiry initiated last year over the bank’s practices in France, a spokesman said.
The unit will fully cooperate with French authorities, Christoph Meier, a spokesman for the Zurich-based bank, said in an e-mailed statement, adding that the French operation “conducts its business in full compliance with French laws and regulations.”
The investigation includes allegations that the bank, Switzerland’s biggest, was complicit in creating a system aimed at soliciting wealthy French citizens to open undeclared accounts in Switzerland, Agence France-Presse reported, citing an unnamed French judicial source.
UBS’s Meier declined to comment on the content of the investigation.
Switzerland enacted bank secrecy laws in 1934 after a French tax evasion investigation. In that case, Basler Handelsbank bankers were arrested in Paris in 1932 for aiding the firm’s French clients in tax evasion.
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