In its decision in the case of UBS AG v. France (application no. 29778/15) the European Court of Human Rights has unanimously declared the application inadmissible. The decision is final.
The case concerned a sum of 1.1 billion euros required by way of security in the context of the court supervision of a bank that was placed under formal investigation for illegal direct selling of banking products and aggravated laundering of the proceeds of tax fraud. The Court noted that the security was intended to ensure the presence of the person under investigation for all the steps of the proceedings and for execution of the judgment, as well as payment of the fines and reparation for the damage caused by the offence.
The Court held that the security required constituted an interim measure which did not prejudge the outcome of the proceedings and that the amount had been assessed by the domestic judges, using particularly thorough reasoning, on the basis of the findings of the investigations, the alleged facts, the scale of the offences and the potential harm, and the fine payable in the event of a conviction. The assessment had also been based explicitly on the resources of the applicant bank, which had been afforded adequate procedural safeguards.