Swiss investment bank and financial services firm UBS has been fined
€3.7 billion ($4.2 billion) for aiding its French clients to evade taxes. The fine was imposed by a Paris court that found UBS guilty of laundering tax fraud proceeds and illicit solicitation of clients between 2004 and 2012. It is the largest tax fraud fine ever imposed by a French court, and comes with an additional €800,000 ($907,600) in damages and interest due to the French state; UBS’s French branch was also fined €15 million ($17 million) for being complicit in the alleged fraud. In a statement quoted by The Art Newspaper
, UBS—which says it will appeal the ruling—said that the court’s finding “is not supported by any concrete evidence, but instead is based on the unfounded allegations of former employees who were not even heard at the trial.”
Among its many roles in the art market, UBS has been a sponsor of Art Basel’s fairs since 1994, and is now the “global lead partner” of the fairs. It also participates in publishing the Art Basel’s annual market analysis publication, The Art Market. “Art Basel has a long-term partnership with UBS and continues working with UBS as its global lead partner,” a fair representative told TAN after the French court found UBS guilty.
The director of the Louisiana Museum, Poul Erik Tøjner, told TAN: