Indian money in Swiss bank : from 88th to 73rd position of India in last three years

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Getting the facts about the money parked by the citizens and companies with Swiss banks, India was on the 73rs position and UK being at the top but in 2016 it revealed that India had slipped to 88th position with 44% plunge in such funds during 2016, but the latest data from the Swiss National Bank (SNB) shows an increase of over 50 per cent during 2017 to CHF 1.01 billion (about Rs 7,000 crore). On the other hand, Pakistan is now one step higher than India i.e. at 72nd place with 21 per cent dips in funds from that country in Swiss banks during 2017.

SNB described the facts of funds present ‘liabilities’ of Swiss banks or ‘amounts due to’ their clients, are official figures disclosed by Swiss authorities and do not indicate to the exact quantum of the much-debated alleged black money held in famed safe havens of Switzerland. As the Switzerland’s central bank release annual official figures it also not include the money that Indians, NRIs or others might have in Swiss banks in the names of entities from different countries.

It has been observed and 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 in Swiss banks. With this, Switzerland is putting an automatic information exchange framework with India and various other countries, the famed secrecy walls of Swiss banks are said to have crumbled. For India it will get it from next year as it is already getting information on accounts where proof of illicit funds can be furnished.

The ascend of money in Swiss bank has given the sharp opposition attack on the government, which in turn has said that it would be wrong to assume that all funds deposited in Swiss banks were ‘black money’ and strong action would be taken against wrongdoers. Now looking at the funds officially held by Indians are only 0.07 per cent, though up from 0.04 per cent a year ago, of the total funds kept by all foreign clients in the Swiss banking system, as per an analysis of the latest figures compiled by the SNB (Swiss National Bank) as on 2017-end.

In 2015 India was in the 75th position while and 61st in 2014; though it used to be among top-50 countries in terms of holdings in Swiss banks till 2007. In 2004, it was highest at 37th position. While in 2017, the total money held in Swiss banks by foreign clients from across the world rose by about 3 per cent to CHF 1.46 trillion (about Rs 100 lakh crore). While, UK continued to account for the largest chunk at about CHF 403 billion (over 27 per cent) of the total foreign money with Swiss banks and UK saw an increase of over 12 per cent in such funds.

While the US remains on the second position despite a dip of about 6 per cent in such funds to CHF 166 billion (11 per cent share of all foreign funds). The top ten included top-ten included West Indies, France, Hong Kong, Bahamas, Germany, Guernsey, Luxembourg and Cayman Islands. Among BRICS countries, India remains to rank the lowest — China at 20th place (CHF 160 billion with an increase of 67 per cent during 2017), Russia at 23rd (CHF 135 billion after 13 per cent fall), Brazil 61st (CHF 1.9 billion after 28 per cent fall) and South Africa 67th (CHF 1.5 billion after 31 per cent dip). Among BRICS countries, India remains to rank the lowest — China at 20th place (CHF 160 billion with an increase of 67 per cent during 2017), Russia at 23rd (CHF 135 billion after 13 per cent fall), Brazil 61st (CHF 1.9 billion after 28 per cent fall) and South Africa 67th (CHF 1.5 billion after 31 per cent dip) and from these five, only China and India saw an increase in their funds.

There are countries who ranked above India which are Singapore, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Panama, Japan, Jersey, Australia, Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Cyprus, Israel, Mexico, Bermuda, Turkey, Kuwait, Marshall Islands, Canada, Thailand, South Korea, Malaysia, Belize, Isle of Man, Indonesia, Seychelles, Gibraltar, Samoa, New Zealand, Philippines, Iran, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. Those countries whi are ranked below India were Mauritius (77th place), Bangladesh (95th), Sri Lanka (108th), Nepal (112th), Vatican City State (122nd), Iraq (132nd), Afghanistan (155th), Burkina Faso  (162nd), Bhutan (203rd), North Korea (205th) and Palau was last at 214th place.

In developed countries money rose to 10 per cent to CHF 876 billion, while those from developing nations rose marginally to CHF 209 billion. The offshore financial centres actually saw a dip of 3 per cent to CHF 378 billion. The offshore financial centres actually saw a dip of 3 per cent to CHF 378 billion.

With the facts and figures it was been seen that India ranked in top-50 continuously between 1996 and 2007, but started declining after that — 55th in 2008, 59th in 2009 and 2010 each, 55th again in 2011, 71st in 2012 and then to 58th in 2013.

Looking percentage aspects, India’s 50 per cent rise was 23rd highest. The maximum increase of as much as 4,000 per cent was seen by Solomon Islands, followed by over 2,200 per cent for Faroe Islands and 1,200 per cent for British Indian Ocean Territory.

Those countries with more than 100% were Maldives, Grenada, Turkmenistan, Laos, Lesotho, Qatar, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Federated States of Micronesia, Equatorial Guinea; and Sao Tome and Principe.

Adding to it, those who were higher than India were Guyana, Mongolia, Barbados, Cote d’Ivoire, South Sudan, Bahrain, Kuwait and Ireland. Those who had maximum decline in such funds included Palau, St Helena and Gambia, while North Korea, Bhutan, Macao, Burkina Faso and Iraq also recorded significant dips.

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