New Delhi/Zurich: India has moved down three places to 77th rank in terms of money parked by its citizens and enterprises with Swiss banks at the end of 2019. The United Kingdom has retained its top position, as per the latest data from Switzerland’s central bank. India was ranked 74th in the previous year.
The latest annual banking statistics has recently been released by the Swiss National Bank (SNB). The analysis shows that India remains ranked very low when it comes to money parked by Indian individuals and enterprises in Swiss banks. It constitutes about 0.06 per cent of the aggregate funds parked by all foreign clients of Switzerland-based banks. In comparison, the top-ranked UK accounted for close to 27 per cent of the total foreign funds parked with Swiss banks.
The latest SNB data has another interesting fact to offer. It states funds parked by Indian individuals fell by 5.8 per cent in 2019 to 899 million Swiss francs (Rs 6,625 crore).
The data is for ‘total liabilities’ of Swiss banks towards Indian clients. It takes into account all types of funds of Indian customers at Swiss banks. These include deposits from individuals, banks and enterprises. This also includes data for branches of Swiss banks in India, as well as non-deposit liabilities.
These are official figures reported by banks to the SNB and do not however, indicate the quantum of the much-debated alleged black money held by Indians in Switzerland. These figures also do not include the money that Indians, NRIs or others might have in Swiss banks in names of third-country entities.
Among the top-ranked jurisdictions, the UK is followed by the United States, West Indies, France and Hong Kong in the top five. The top-five countries alone account for more than 50 per cent of the aggregate foreign funds parked with the Swiss banks, while the top-10 account for nearly two-thirds. The top-15 countries account for nearly 75 per cent of all foreign money in Swiss banks. The top-10 countries also include Germany, Luxembourg, Bahamas, Singapore and Cayman Islands.
Only 22 countries have one per cent of more of the total foreign funds parked with Swiss banks. Among them are China, Jersey, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Panama, Italy, Cyprus, UAE, Netherlands, Japan and Guernsey.
Among the five-nation BRICS block of emerging economies, India is ranked the lowest while Russia is ranked the highest at the 20th place. It is followed by China (22nd), South Africa (56th) and Brazil (62nd).
A number of countries have seen their funds falling in Swiss banks in recent years. This happened amid a global clampdown against the erstwhile banking secrecy walls in the Alpine nation.
It has been often alleged that Indians and other nationals seeking to stash their illicit wealth abroad use multiple layers of various jurisdictions, including tax havens, to shift the money to Swiss banks. Also, with Switzerland putting in place an automatic information exchange framework with India and various other countries, the famed secrecy walls of Swiss banks are said to have crumbled. India started getting this automatic data last year.