UBS ordered to provide France with tax information
By Joshua Franklin
ZURICH (Reuters) - UBS (UBSG.S: Quote) has been ordered by Switzerland's tax agency to provide France with tax information, the Swiss bank said on Tuesday, adding that it expected other countries to file similar requests.
Since the financial crisis, cash-strapped governments around the world have clamped down on tax evasion, with authorities probing Swiss banks in Germany, France and the United States.
"The request concerns a number of UBS account numbers pertaining to current and former French domiciled clients and is based on data from 2006 and 2008," UBS, Switzerland's biggest bank, said in a statement.
The French request was made based on a double taxation agreement with Switzerland.
UBS said it had expressed concerns to Switzerland's Federal Tax Administration (FTA) that the legal basis for the request was "ambiguous at best," and that the data and the justification received as part of the request "lack the required specificity".
The bank added that it plans to ask the Swiss Federal Administrative Court to look at the request.
Switzerland was barred from helping the Netherlands in a tax case that centers on a Dutch client of UBS after a Swiss court ruled that requested details were too broad to be covered by the information-sharing agreement between the countries.
The French request is based on data received from German authorities, who have gathered information from various tax investigations and, according to UBS, has apparently shared this with other European countries. Continued...