UBS has settled a major tax evasion case in Germany and has agreed to pay a penalty of 300 million euros (403 million dollars), dpa quoted Switzerland's biggest bank as saying Tuesday in Zurich.
Prosecutors in Bochum in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia had launched investigations against UBS on suspicion that it had helped German clients hide taxable income in foundations in about 750 cases.
'Tax evasion does not have a future as a business model,' North Rhine-Westphalia's Justice Minister Thomas Kutschaty said.
Provisions for the penalty put a burden on earnings in the second quarter. Operating profits at the bank's wealth management arm dropped 43 per cent to 355 million Swiss francs (392 million dollars), compared to the same period last year.
However, UBS announced that its net profit rose 15 per cent to 792 million Swiss francs, owing to a cost-saving programme.
UBS shares lost 1.26 per cent until noon on the Zurich stock exchange.
'The resolution of this matter is a significant step allowing UBS to move forward in this important market,' board chairman Axel Weber and chief executive Sergio Ermotti said in a message to shareholders.
However, UBS is still faced with similar but unresolved tax cases in Germany, France and Belgium.
French authorities said last week that they have widened their investigation from aiding tax fraud to money laundering.
Paris prosecutors demanded that UBS lodge a security payment of 1.1 billion euros until the tax matter is settled, but the Swiss bank has announced it will appeal this sum.
Marcel Bruehwiler, the Swiss chief executive of UBS Belgium, was detained for questioning last month and was then charged with money laundering, fiscal fraud, participation in a criminal organization and illegal financial practices.
UBS settled tax evasion cases in the United States already in 2009 by paying a fine of 780 million euros.