UBS Germany tax probe fine could top 150 mln euros - magazine

FRANKFURT, July 21 Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:28pm BST

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FRANKFURT, July 21 (Reuters) - The German operations of Swiss bank UBS could be fined more than 150 million euros ($197 million) in connection with an investigation of alleged tax avoidance by the lender's German clients, a German magazine reported on Sunday.

Der Spiegel did not cite sources for its report but said that more money escaped tax than in a similar case, which rival lender Credit Suisse paid 150 million euros to settle.

Prosecutors searched 10 UBS offices this month as part of the investigation launched last year after the purchase of a CD with details of UBS clients by the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Der Spiegel said that German tax authorities are considering buying at least three more UBS data packages to aid their investigations.

UBS on Sunday said it was not aware of any new information in the case and repeated that it would not tolerate any activity aimed at helping clients to evade taxes.

"UBS has been demanding for some time that German clients serviced outside Germany bring their tax situation in order," a UBS spokeswoman said.

"Current and new clients must show that they have met their obligations to the tax authorities."

The number of people voluntarily reporting their financial affairs to the tax authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia rose sharply in the first half of the year as news of the investigation spread. ($1 = 0.7611 euros)

(Reporting by Jonathan Gould; Editing by David Goodman)