October 17, 2019 / 4:34 PM / 2 months ago

UBS pays more than 10 million euros to settle Italy money-laundering probe

MILAN (Reuters) - An Italian judge has accepted a request by UBS (UBSG.S) to pay more than 10 million euros ($11 million) to settle a money-laundering investigation, ending one of the Swiss bank’s biggest legal headaches in Europe.

“We are pleased to have resolved this matter,” a UBS spokesperson said in an email to Reuters on Thursday.

UBS has been grappling with two separate probes in Italy and a court case in France over allegations it enabled cross-border tax cheats to hide assets in Switzerland.

The judge on Thursday accepted the payment of 2.125 million euros as “agreed penalty” to close the case while also seizing 8.175 million euros as profit from the alleged money-laundering, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The settlement, which by Italian law is not an admission of guilt, was requested by UBS in July, after a deal with Italian prosecutors.

Last June, the Swiss bank paid 101 million euros to settle its other Italian case, a related financial investigation, with tax authorities.

In the criminal probe, prosecutors had alleged unidentified UBS managers were responsible for money-laundering because they invested client funds that were the fruit of tax evasion.

Last July, the Swiss Supreme Court ruled that data on 40,000 UBS clients had to be handed to French tax authorities in a landmark case that could set a precedent for foreign governments seeking information from Swiss banks.

In France, UBS is appealing a 4.5 billion euros penalty for alleged tax evasion. UBS has denied wrongdoing.

Reporting by Emilio Parodi, additional reporting by John Revill in Zurich, writing by Stephen Jewkes, editing by Nick Macfie

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