UBS Is Poised to Settle Tax Case With Italy for $110 Million
(Bloomberg) — UBS Group AG is close to settling a tax evasion case with Italy for about 100 million euros ($110 million), according to people familiar with the matter.The agreement may come within the next few weeks, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. The Swiss bank had said it faced claims from tax authorities and a prosecutor’s office in Italy regarding its activities over a five year period starting in 2012, without giving further details. Rival Credit Suisse Group AG in 2016 agreed to pay 109.5 million euros to Italian authorities investigating the bank’s past use of insurance policies, allegedly to help clients evade taxes.
The move comes just three months after UBS was ordered to pay more than $5 billion for helping French clients to launder their assets in a record verdict. A Paris criminal court ruled in February that UBS illegally laundered funds by providing French customers with banking services to hide assets from tax authorities. UBS said it would appeal the ruling, which delays the need to make any payments until there is a final decision from higher courts.
The Guardia di Finanza — Italy’s financial police — earlier this year sent a letter to Swiss lenders asking for a list of all their Italian units, data on local relationship managers, as well as an explanation of how Italian clients’ assets are managed. The questionnaire, seen by Bloomberg, doesn’t specify which banks it has been sent to.
UBS declined to comment.
Italian authorities received about 20 billion euros ($22.7 billion) in 2017 from cracking down on evasion, a 5.6 percent increase from a year earlier, in part from a tax amnesty the government offered to encourage citizens to repatriate money stashed abroad.
The Swiss bank is also facing a tax fraud probe in Belgium while German prosecutors are seeking a fine of 83 million euros ($93 million) against the lender for helping customers evade tax.