UPDATE 2-UBS Germany probed over suspected tax evasion

Thu Nov 8, 2012 8:00am EST

Related Topics

* Authorities suspect staff channelled client funds to Switzerland

* Prosecutors say confiscated electronic data during raid in May

* UBS denies any wrongdoing in formal statement (Adds UBS statement)

BERLIN, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Swiss bank UBS's German subsidiary is being investigated by local prosecutors over allegations of helping clients to evade tax, putting it in another tangle with European tax authorities.

Bank staff are suspected of having helped clients transfer money to Switzerland to hide it from the local tax authorities, the spokesman for prosecutors in the German city of Mannheim, Peter Lintz, told Reuters.

UBS's Frankfurt offices were raided in May and electronic data and other material that was obtained at the time is currently being analysed, he added.

Newspaper Stuttgarter Nachrichten, which reported the investigation earlier on Thursday, said funds had been moved via an internal clearing account at UBS's German branch into Switzerland, with the transfers lasting well into 2012.

Several Swiss banks have been caught up in investigations into personal tax evasion in the United States and Europe, putting the future of Swiss banking secrecy laws in jeopardy.

Earlier this year a number of French offices of UBS were searched as part of a probe into the alleged aiding of tax evasion.

UBS in August denied media reports it was telling wealthy Germans to move funds to Singapore and other money centres ahead of a Swiss tax deal due to come into force in January.

As for the ongoing probe by Mannheim Prosecutors, UBS also denied any wrongdoing.

"Internal investigations regarding these allegations have not revealed any indication of misconduct on the part of UBS Deutschland AG," UBS said in a statement on Thursday. (Reporting by Hendrik Sackmann, Andreas Cremer and Ludwig Burger and Edward Taylor; Editing by Andrew Hay and Greg Mahlich)

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