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France fines UBS $13.1 million for lack of internal control

Staff writer |
French banking regulator ACP fined the French unit of Swiss bank UBS $13.1 million (10 million euros) for failed internal control, related to products being investigated on suspicion of tax fraud.

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The French Prudential Supervisory Authority (Autorite de Contrôle Prudentiel - ACP) fined the bank that that doesn't prejudge the judicial probe that is underway. The prosecutor is investigating UBS and its French business over whether their staff were offering bank accounts abroad to help clients avoid French taxes.

The ACP said that UBS had waited more than year and a half after receiving final warnings in 2007 by authorities to "rectify trans-border activity" amid "serious" suspicions of tax evasion and illegal sales practices.

The investigation started after an anonymous employess sent a letter to ACP claiming that parallel accounts were opened in Switzerland but undeclared in France and that is is illegal under French law. The whistleblower also said that a special record was kept between 2002-2007 listing undeclared bank accounts opened by corporate clients.

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