Basler Kantonalbank says to pay 38.6 million euros in German tax probe

ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss regional bank Basler Kantonalbank said on Thursday it will pay 38.6 million euros ($42.1 million) to settle a probe by German officials over undeclared assets in hidden offshore accounts in Switzerland.

Basler said the German fine will reduce its first-half profit to last year’s level of 49.3 million Swiss francs ($52 million) in net profit. The bank reports results on July 23.

The Basel-based lender is the fourth Swiss bank — after Credit Suisse, Julius Baer and UBS — to settle similar probes with German officials, which resolves the matter for both the bank and its employees.

Basler, one of a host of local government-backed lenders in Switzerland, is still on the hook in a U.S. probe investigating how Swiss banks helped wealthy Americans dodge or cheat on taxes.

A spokesman for Basler said the bank had no news on the U.S. probe, an investigation which also involves larger rivals Julius Baer and Pictet & Cie and which a U.S. official signalled recently could stretch into next year, but still hoped for a resolution as soon as possible.

($1 = 0.9162 euros)

($1 = 0.9482 Swiss francs)

(Reporting by Katharina Bart; Editing by Michael Perry and Michael Shields)

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