PARIS, July 24 A 1.1 billion euro ($1.48
billion) guarantee demanded by French judges of Swiss bank UBS
reflects the size of the fine it could pay if found
guilty of helping French customers avoid tax, the French
prosecutor's office said on Thursday.
"It was by assessing the fine that is potentially applicable
that the level of the surety was fixed," an official in the
prosecutor's office said.
The official said UBS would have to pay the difference
between this amount and a much smaller 2.875 million euro
guarantee already made in the case by Sept. 30, and in one
Separately, a French Finance Ministry source said it had
refused to try to reach an out-of-court settlement with UBS.
The Swiss bank said it was notified on Wednesday that a 1.1
billion euro guarantee would be set after it was placed under
formal investigation in France on suspicion that it helped
wealthy French customers avoid tax authorities.
In a statement, UBS said it considered the legal basis and
calculation for the sum to be "deeply flawed" and announced it
(Reporting by Chine Labbe and Yann Le Guernigou; Writing by
Mark John; Editing by James Regan)