Belgium charges Swiss banking giant with fraud
AFP · 26 Feb 2016, 12:09
Published: 26 Feb 2016 12:09 GMT+01:00
- UBS shares slide despite soaring profits for 2015 (02 Feb 16)
- Swiss bank tax evasion fines to US reach $1 bn (26 Dec 15)
- Ex-UBS employees banned for illegal trading (17 Dec 15)
"The Swiss bank is suspected of having approached Belgian clients directly (without going through its Belgian unit) with the aim of getting them to sign up to tax evasion products," the federal prosecutor's office said in a statement.
It said the charge sheet covered criminal activity involving "money laundering, illegally acting as a financial intermediary in Belgium, and serious and organised fiscal fraud."
The charges followed "excellent cooperation" with the French authorities, the statement said, adding that no further details would be released for the moment.
Last week, French judges completed an investigation into allegations that UBS and its local unit had encouraged clients to open accounts in Switzerland so as to avoid the tax authorities during the period 2004-12.
UBS has been embroiled in a whole series of similar cases, most notably in the United States where the authorities said the bank allowed US customers to conceal their assets and income from the taxman.