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from DealZone:

UBS dodges bigger bullet in tax pact

SWITZERLANDEmbattled Swiss bank UBS struck a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Justice Department that will cost them $780 million. It could have been worse.

Though paying a hefty fine, the Swiss bank is paying ZERO punitive fines, despite conceding that they helped U.S. residents -- estimated to number 250 -- avoid paying income taxes over an eight year period.

The agreement announced on Wednesday specifies that UBS will give up $380 million of profit from eight years of cross-border business -- of which $200 million will be paid to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and $180 million to the Department of Justice -- and $400 million for back taxes, tax penalties and restitution for unpaid taxes and interest .

But it will not pay a penalty. In addition to wining points for its cooperation, Uncle Sam evidently took pity on a bank that has already suffered billions of losses from fixed-income trades and investments during the credit crunch. Halfway down Page 3 of the agreement Reuters found this little nugget: