The 'organised system' used by UBS bank to help wealthy French citizens cheat tax authorities

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On Friday the French arm of Swiss bank UBS was placed under formal investigation by judges carrying out a wide-ranging probe into allegations that it has enabled wealthy French nationals to evade paying tax in France on sums deposited in undeclared Swiss bank accounts. Mediapart has meanwhile seen evidence which suggests that, contrary to the bank's claims that any unlawful activities were carried out by a few individuals, some senior executives at the French subsidiary oversaw an organised system to record the opening of undeclared accounts. Dan Israel reports.

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On Friday the French arm of Swiss bank UBS was placed under formal investigation by judges undertaking a wide-ranging probe into allegations that it has enabled wealthy French nationals to evade paying tax in France on sums deposited in undeclared Swiss bank accounts. Two Paris-based investigating magistrates, Guillaume Daïeff and Serge Tournaire, are examining claims of “laundering the proceeds of tax fraud” as well as the unauthorised direct selling of products. UBS France was put under investigation – one step short of charges being brought – in relation to the illicit selling of products to wealthy French clients. The bank was named as an “assisted witness” in relation to the laundering of proceeds of illicit selling and of the proceeds of tax fraud. This is a status that could be changed to being placed under investigation if new evidence comes to light in the inquiry. Here Mediapart reports on new evidence which suggests that, contrary to the bank's claims that any unlawful activities were carried out by a few individuals, an organised parallel accounting system existed to record the opening of undeclared accounts. Dan Israel reports.