Swiss banking giant UBS has been fined $4.2 billion in a French tax fraud case.
The fine comes after the bank allegedly helped French clients hide billions of euros from French tax authorities between 2004 and 2012.
UBS has consistently contested any criminal wrongdoing and will appeal against the verdict.
This case follows two similar cases against the company in the US in 2009 and Germany in 2014, where the bank also accepted multi-million dollar fines.
As well as the fine, UBS has also been ordered to pay damages of $900 million payable to the French state. The company had previously said that it had set aside $2.46 billion to cover potential losses from litigation and regulatory requirements.
The court found Switzerland’s biggest bank guilty of illicit solicitation of clients and laundering the proceeds of tax fraud. The French prosecutors had previously told the court UBS was “systematic” in its support of tax-evading customers and that the laundering of proceeds from the tax fraud was done on an “industrial” scale.
Prosecutors said UBS sent Swiss bankers to sports events and concerts to solicit clients. The court ruling follows an investigation lasting seven years. The bank had previously rejected a €1.1 billion settlement offer.
In a statement, UBS said: “The bank has consistently contested any criminal wrongdoing in this case throughout the investigation and during the trial.
“No evidence was provided that any French client was solicited on French soil by a UBS AG client advisor to open an account in Switzerland.”
Paul Donovan, chief economist for UBS, recently denounced Bitcoin by saying: “I come to bury Bitcoin, not to praise it.”
BREAKING: UBS was just found criminally responsible by a French court for money laundering and has been fined ~$4.2 billion.
LONG BITCOIN, SHORT THE BANKERS!
— Pomp ? (@APompliano) February 20, 2019
When someone followed up to ask him if he thought that anyone would go to jail this time, he replied with, “…..you already know”.
This latest fine comes after UBS’s multiple state bailouts (to the tune of billions of dollars) by legacy state-backed institutions like the ECB.
Max Keiser, host of the Keiser Report, recently addressed the banking giant directly on his show, saying: “Bitcoin is not going to bail out UBS. No one will bail out Bitcoin either because it’s anti-fragile. Every day it goes on it gets stronger against the charlatans like UBS.”
“These guys have a real problem because you can now settle hundreds of millions of dollars worth of trades instantaneously, and for pennies – UBS charge them millions for this.”
For more news, guides, and cryptocurrency analysis, click here.