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July 30, 2015

Bank's Clinton Foundation Giving Rose After State Dept. Deal

Swiss bank UBS AG significantly increased donations to the Clinton Foundation after then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton helped broker a 2009 settlement of the bank's battle with U.S. regulators over disclosure of secret accounts, according to The Wall Street Journal.

While there is no evidence of a link between the case and the stepped-up giving, the matter points up the overlap between the Clintons' philanthropic work and Ms. Clinton's political activities, questions about which have dogged her presidential campaign, the Journal writes.

When Ms. Clinton took office at State in early 2009, the Internal Revenue Service was suing UBS to obtain the identities of the American owners of 52,000 accounts suspected to be vehicles for tax avoidance. The deal her department she worked out with Swiss government officials required UBS to turn over information on 4,450 accounts.

The bank's giving to the foundation, which totaled less than $60,000 as of 2008, swelled to about $600,000 by 2014. UBS also provided $32 million in loans to inner-city U.S. businesses as part of the foundation entrepreneurship program and paid Bill Clinton $1.5 million for question-and-answer sessions in which former President George W. Bush also took part. The bank said there was no connection between its philanthropic activity and its dealings with "any current or former government official."