Indians stash less cash in Swiss accounts in 2019; funds from India fall for second year in a row

Swiss banks had Rs 6,625 crore Indian funds in 2019, which was the third-lowest in over three decades.

black momey, rupee, Rs 2000, swiss bank accounts

Indians are stashing less cash in Swiss banks as funds parked by Indian individuals and enterprises fell 6 per cent in 2019. Swiss banks had Rs 6,625 crore Indian funds, which was the third-lowest in over three decades, PTI reported citing annual data from Switzerland’s central bank. Indians’ money in Swiss accounts fell for the second consecutive year in 2019. Money in Swiss accounts is parked in the form of customer deposits, money held via other banks, money deposited through fiduciaries or trust, and securities and various financial instruments. In 2019, all four components saw a decline in funds.

However, it is to be noted that the report does not specify the share of black money in the overall funds and also does not include Swiss accounts in the names of third-country entities.
The Swiss national bank said that the data for total liabilities of Swiss banks towards Indian clients takes into account all types of funds of Indian customers at Swiss banks, including deposits from individuals, banks, and enterprises and data for branches of Swiss banks in India.

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Even as the government strives to bring black money back to India, neither the government nor the private body, nobody has the data for the black money stacked in foreign accounts. In reply to a question in Rajya Sabha in February, the government said that it has no data revealing if the amount deposited by the Indians in the Swiss Banks has decreased.

Meanwhile, Swiss authorities have always defended that assets held by Indian residents in Switzerland cannot be considered as black money and the nation actively support India to fight against tax fraud and evasion. Since 2018, there has been an automatic exchange of information in tax matters between Switzerland and India, according to which, detailed financial information on all Indian residents having accounts with Swiss financial institutions since 2018 was provided for the first time to Indian tax authorities in September 2019 and this is being followed every year since then.

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