Swiss banking major UBS has been ordered by Switzerland’s tax authority to hand over France information on French clients.
The order from the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA) concerns account numbers of existing and former France-based clients of UBS, and is based on data from 2006 to 2008, Zurich-based UBS said in a statement.
The Swiss bank said that the order was based on a double taxation deal between Switzerland and France.
UBS said that the "legal grounds for this request are ambiguous at best", adding that "the data and the justification received as part of the request lack the required specificity".
The bank also plans to have the request evaluated by the Swiss Federal Administrative Court, and has already started informing clients of the order, including their right to appeal.
The request from French authorities is based on data received from German authorities, who had seized client data from the Swiss lender for their own tax-related probe and apparently shared the data with other countries in Europe.
UBS said that it expects additional countries to make similar requests as well.