Funds parked by Indian individuals and firms in Swiss banks rose to 2.55 billion Swiss francs (over Rs 20,700 crore) in 2020, the highest in 13 years, PTI reported on Thursday, citing annual data from Switzerland’s central bank.
This is a jump of more than 183% from the 899 million Swiss francs (Rs 6,625 crore) at the end of 2019.
The deposits stood at a record high of 6.5 billion Swiss francs (over Rs 52,500 crore) in 2006, following which it has mostly charted a downward trend, except for a few years in 2011, 2013 and 2017, as per the Swiss National Bank data.
The rise in deposits this year, however, come with a rider. Funds classified as “customer account deposits” have actually declined from 550 million Swiss francs (over Rs 4,442 crore) in 2019 to 503.9 million (over Rs 4,000 crore). The money held through fiduciaries and trusts also reduced from 7.4 million Swiss francs (Rs 59.76 crore) to 2 million Swiss francs (Rs 16.5 crore).
However, the amounts deposited through bonds, securities and various other financial instruments rose sharply from 253 million Swiss francs (Rs 2,043 crore) to 1.66 billion Swiss francs (nearly Rs 13,500 crore), during this period.
The data released in the annual report of the Swiss National Bank is a collection of official figures reported to the central bank by various individual banks in the country. However, this data does not account for the alleged “black money” held by Indians in Switzerland, according to PTI. It does not include the money that Indians might have in Swiss banks in names of third-country entities.
Meanwhile, the “locational banking statistics” of the Bank for International Settlement, show an increase of nearly 39% during 2020, in Indian deposits in Swiss banks, to $125.9 million (Rs 932 crore). This data has been described in the past by Indian and Swiss authorities as a more reliable measure for deposits by Indian individuals in Swiss banks, PTI reported.
The figure, which also considers account deposits as well as loans of Indian non-bank clients of Swiss-domiciled banks, had risen by 7% in 2019.
In October 2019, Swiss tax authorities had shared with India the first tranche of details about the financial accounts of Indian clients in Swiss banks under the automatic information exchange framework between the two countries. However, the finance ministry had refused to share details of the data, saying such disclosures are prohibited under “confidentiality provisions” of a tax treaty between India and Switzerland.