French high court orders new trial into $2B fine against UBS


France’s top court struck down a fine of 1.8 billion euros (U.S. $2 billion) imposed on UBS in 2021 by a lower court, despite upholding a guilty verdict related to money laundering and tax fraud in the Swiss bank’s cross-border activities.

The decision, released Wednesday by the Cour de Cassation, means the guilty finding against UBS delivered by the Paris Court of Appeal in December 2021 will stand. But the French Supreme Court ordered the appeals court to hold a new trial to reconsider whether a fine should be imposed at all and, if so, the size of the penalty.

The original 2021 appeals court decision found UBS guilty of unlawful solicitation and aggravated laundering of the proceeds of tax fraud relating to the bank’s cross-border business activities in France between 2004 and 2012, according to a UBS press release at the time. The court found UBS not guilty of aiding and abetting the laundering of the proceeds of tax fraud, the bank said.

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