Indians' money in Swiss banks down to CHF 676 mn: Switzerlands central bank data

Jun 30, 2017 12:00 IST

Amid the continuing clampdown on the suspected black money stashed behind the framed secrecy walls, a data published on 29 June 2017 says that money parked by Indians in the banks of Switzerland has nearly halved to 676 Swiss francs (about Rs 4500 crore) in 2016. The data was released by Switzerland’s central banking authority SNB (Swiss National Bank).

SNB published the figures for 2016 as part of its annual Banks in Switzerland Report.

In comparison, the data reveals that the total funds held by all foreign clients of Swiss Banks rose to CHF 1.42 trillion (about Rs 96 lakh crore) from CHF 1.41 trillion in 2015.

The data says that at the end of 2016, the total funds held by Indian directly with Swiss Banks stood at CHF 664.8 million, while the same held through fiduciaries was near $11 million.

During the year 2016, the total money of Indians fell by 45 per cent to CHF 675.75 million, marking the biggest ever yearly decline in such funds.

This included nearly CHF 377 million in form of customer deposits, about CHF 98 million owed to Indians through other banks and CHF 190 million in form of other ‘liabilities’

The SNB data showed that the figures fell sharply across all categories in 2016.

This is the lowest amount of funds held by Indians in the Swiss banks ever since the Alpine nation began making the data public in 1987 and marks the third straight year of decline.

The funds held through fiduciaries or wealth managers alone used to be in billions till 2007 but have been falling amid fears of the regulatory crackdown.

The funds held by Indians in Swiss banks stood at a record high of CHF 6.5 billion (Rs 23000 crore) at 2006-end but has now come down to nearly one-tenth of that level in about a decade.

The quantum of these funds has been falling since then, except for in 2011 and in 2013 when Indians’ money had risen by over 12 per cent and 42 per cent, respectively.

The latest data from Zurich-based SNB comes ahead of a new framework for the automatic exchange of information between Switzerland and India to help check the black money menace.

While Switzerland has already begun sharing foreign client details on evidence of wrongdoing provided by India and some other countries, it has agreed to further expand its cooperation on India’s fight against black money with a new pact for automatic information exchange from 2018.

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