The French arm of Swiss banking giant UBS AG (NYSE:UBS) has been fined 10 million euros ($13 million) by French regulators on Wednesday for failing to tighten controls on money-laundering and tax evasion, BBC reports.
Both the Swiss and French arms are under investigation for allegedly helping wealthy clients open secret bank accounts in Switzerland.
UBS disagreed with the conclusions of French banking regulator ACP and is considering an appeal of the decision.
“We disagree with many of the disciplinary commission’s conclusions. ... UBS does not tolerate any activities intended to help its clients circumvent their tax obligations,” according to a statement from the bank.
The investigation in France focused on whether UBS staff solicited clients to open secret bank accounts but has now expanded to include a look at an alleged UBS-built shadow banking system that obscured transfers between French and Swiss bank accounts.
The ACP said on Wednesday that UBS waited more than a year and a half after final warnings in 2007 before fixing “serious” suspicions of tax evasion and illegal sales practices. They described measures taken by UBS as “lax.”
UBS stopped providing offshore banking services for American clients in 2008 after investigations from federal authorities and an indictment of a UBS executive employee.