German prosecutors aim to fine UBS over alleged help in client tax evasion

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen in Zurich, Switzerland October 25, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

FRANKFURT/ZURICH (Reuters) - German prosecutors in the city of Mannheim said they were seeking to fine the German unit of Swiss bank UBS about 83 million euros ($92.9 million) for helping clients to evade taxes.

The prosecutors allege that executives at subsidiary UBS Deutschland AG helped several clients to break tax laws between 2001 and 2012, aided by executives at the Swiss parent, the prosecutors’ office said in a statement on Tuesday.

A Mannheim court will start proceedings to decide on the fine, it added.

UBS, which paid about 300 million euros in 2014 to resolve a similar German case in Bochum, said it would fight the Mannheim demand.

“The prosecutor’s office in Mannheim has been investigating the alleged conduct from before 2012 for six years. We do not believe the prosecutor’s claim is supported by the facts or the law and we intend to vigorously oppose this administrative proceeding,” UBS said.

The latest tax headache for Switzerland’s biggest bank comes after a French court in February ordered it to pay 4.5 billion euros in penalties for helping rich clients dodge taxes. UBS is appealing against that verdict.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger in Frankfurt and by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi and Michael Shields in Zurich; Editing by David Goodman