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November 19, 2021

UBS agrees $55.7m settlement in Belgian tax evasion case

By Verdict Staff

UBS has reportedly agreed to a €49m ($55.7m) settlement with Belgian tax authorities in an alleged tax evasion case occurred between 2005 and 2013.

The settlement comes in connection with the Swiss bank’s role in helping its clients in Belgium avoid taxes, Reuters reported.

In 2016, UBS was charged with money laundering and serious and organised tax fraud by Belgian authorities.

The authorities also alleged that the bank directly approached its Belgian customers, instead of approaching them through its Belgian subsidiary.

According to Belgian prosecutors, all charges against the Swiss bank relating to money laundering and forming of a criminal organisation were dropped.

The charges against former UBS Belgium chief executive Marcel Bruehwiler have also been dismissed as part of the settlement.

Bruehwiler was detained by Belgian police in 2014 in connection with his alleged role in the tax fraud.

He was charged with criminal organisation, money laundering, illegal practice of the profession of financial intermediary and serious organised fiscal fraud.

Brussels prosecutors said in a statement: “For UBS, the transaction puts an end to a long procedure relating to alleged facts dating back more than ten years, and this without any admission of guilt.”

UBS, which confirmed the news on the settlement, told the news agency that it was ‘pleased to have resolved the legacy matter.’

A spokesman divulged to Reuters that the provisions for the settlement were already arranged by the Swiss banking giant.

Last year, Belgian prosecutors initiated a probe against Credit Suisse, another Swiss banking giant, to examine its role in helping more than 2,600 clients to dodge tax.

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