UBS ordered to release account details to French authorities

Added 6th July 2016

Switzerland’s Federal Tax Administration has ordered UBS to provide account information to French authorities, with the Swiss bank now expecting similar requests from other countries.

UBS ordered to release account details to French authorities

“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 said on Tuesday.

“Since then, the client base underlying the data has changed significantly and a large number of the accounts affected by the French request are closed,” the bank added.

The French tax authorities filed the request for international administrative assistance with the FTA based on the double taxation agreement between Switzerland and France.

The FTA accepted the request and directed a disclosure order to UBS.

Ambiguous grounds

The bank expressed concerns to the Swiss tax authorities that the legal grounds for the request were ambiguous at best, and that the data and the justification for it lacked the required specificity.

UBS said that it plans to ask the Swiss Federal Administrative Court to look at the request.

The request from the French tax authorities is based on data received from the German authorities, which have conducted various investigations on tax matters in recent years.

Certain data related to UBS clients booked in Switzerland was seized during these investigations, which appears to have been shared with other European countries.

As a result, UBS expects other countries to file similar requests.

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About Author

Kirsten Hastings

Senior Reporter

Kirsten is a senior reporter for International Adviser, covering global news stories about the financial services industry. She joined Last Word Media in October 2015 after two years working as a reporter covering the staffing and recruitment industry. Kirsten has a Masters in Financial Journalism from the University of Stirling. 

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