March 18, 2016 / 10:48 AM / 3 years ago

UBS says European court accepts French tax case petition

The logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen at the company's headquarters in Zurich February 10, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss bank UBS (UBSG.S) said on Friday that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) had accepted its petition to challenge French court rulings in a case over whether it helped clients avoid tax.

French authorities placed UBS under formal examination in 2014 and investigating judges ordered the bank to provide bail of 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) in relation to the case.

France’s appeal court and the French Supreme Court rejected UBS’s appeals over the bail, but the Strasbourg-based ECHR has accepted a petition to challenge parts of the decision, UBS, Switzerland’s biggest bank, revealed in its annual report published on Friday.

The application will now be examined by ECHR judges.

UBS first lodged the application in June, 2015 and it typically takes at least three years for the ECHR to come to a judgment in such cases.

The bank said last month it was looking forward to the opportunity to respond to “unfounded allegations” in the French investigation.

In March 2015, the French unit of UBS was also placed under formal investigation, while it paid bail worth 10 million euros.

Last month, investigating prosecutors concluded their formal investigation, opening a period of three months when parties can exchange information or demand further documents before the financial prosecutor makes requisitions.

Reporting by Joshua Franklin and Angelika Gruber; Additional reporting by Gilbert Reilhac in Strasbourg; Editing by Alexander Smith

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