Indians’ money in Swiss banks has fallen to a record low level of about Rs 9,000 crore (1.42 billion Swiss francs), as a global clampdown against the famed secrecy wall of Switzerland banking system made it unattractive for their global clients.
The total funds held directly by Indian individuals and entities included 1.34 billion Swiss francs, and another 77 million Swiss francs through ‘fiduciaries’ or wealth managers at the end of 2012, as per the latest figures released by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) in Zurich on Thursday.
The official data, which forms part of Swiss National Bank’s annual report on Swiss banks, further showed that Indians’ money there dropped by about 35
per cent or Rs 4,900 crore in 2012.
This was much steeper than a 9.1 per cent fall in the funds held by entities from across the world in Swiss banks, which also hit an all-time low of 1.4 trillion Swiss francs ($1.5 trillion) at the end of 2012.
While Swiss banks had close to Rs 14,000 crore (2.18 billion Swiss francs) of Indian money at the beginning of 2012, the equivalent figure for entities from across the world stood at 1.5 trillion Swiss francs ($1.65 trillion). The data has been released at a time when Switzerland is facing growing pressure from the US and other countries to share the foreign client details, while its own lawmakers are resisting such measures.
The funds, described by SNB as ‘liabilities’ of Swiss banks towards their clients from India, are the official figures disclosed by the Swiss authorities and do not indicate towards the quantum of the much-debated alleged black money held by Indians in the safe havens of Switzerland.
SNB’s official figures do not include the money that Indians or others might have in Swiss banks in the names of others.