Paris (AFP) - French judges have charged a former top-level banker at UBS with tax evasion as part of a probe into the Swiss banking giant, judicial sources said Thursday.
Raoul Weil, the former head of the bank's global wealth management business, was charged with tax evasion and illegally canvassing French customers at the end of September, the sources said.
The Swiss bank was charged in the probe in July and its French subsidiary in March, for allegedly helping rich French clients to hide money in Switzerland amid a global clampdown on tax evasion.
Weil "strongly contests the two charges," his lawyers said in a statement.
The charges against Weil date from between 2004 and 2008. He was ordered to pay a 200,000 euro ($225,000) bond to the court.
France opened a probe into UBS after former employees blew the whistle over the bank's alleged system of setting up dual accounts to hide the movement of capital into Switzerland.
Germany recently handed documents to the French judges which allowed them to evaluate the assets of French clients held by the bank in 2008 at nearly 12 billion euros ($13.5 billion), said a source close to the investigation.
The documents also boosted suspicions that the managers of UBS were allegedly aware that a part of these assets were linked to tax evasion.
The judges last year ordered UBS to pay a hefty bail of 1.1 billion euros.
Weil was acquitted in November 2014 on charges of tax evasion in the United States. He had been accused of conspiring to help Americans hide billions of dollars from US tax authorities.
UBS co-operated with US authorities under an agreement reached in February 2009 that resulted in a $780 million fine and had turned over the names of many of its US clients suspected of tax fraud.