India 61st on Swiss money list

Zurich: India has moved down to 61st place in terms of foreigners’ money in Swiss banks and it now accounts for a meagre 0.123% of the total global wealth worth $ 1.6 trillion in Switzerland’s banking system.

While the UK and the US have retained their top two positions with the largest shares of the foreign clients’ money with Swiss banks, Pakistan has inched up to 73rd place.

Interestingly, just two big banks – UBS and Credit Suisse – account for nearly two-third of the total money kept by foreigners in Swiss banks, while their share in case of Indians is even higher at about 82%.

As per the latest data released by Switzerland’s central banking authority SNB ( Swiss National Bank), Indians’ money in Swiss banks declined by over 10% to about 1.8 billion Swiss francs ($1.98 billion or Rs 12,615 crore) in 2014.

This accounts for just 0.123% of the total funds kept in the Swiss banks by people from across the world.

This is the second lowest level of Indian money in Swiss banks – after an increase of over 40% in 2013 – and the latest data comes amid an enhanced clampdown against the famed secrecy wall of Switzerland’s banking system.

The funds, described by SNB as ‘liabilities’ of Swiss banks or “amounts due to the customers of banks in Switzerland” are official Swiss figures and do not indicate to the quantum of the much-debated alleged black money held by Indians in the safe havens of Switzerland.

Besides, SNB’s official figures do not include the money that Indians or others might have in Swiss banks in the names of entities from different countries.

An analysis of the latest SNB data also showed that the big banks accounted for 1.48 billion Swiss francs of Indians’ money, up from 1.36 billion Swiss francs a year ago.

At the end of 2014, there were 275 banks in Switzerland, but only two – UBS and Credit Suisse – were classified as ‘big banks’ by Zurich-based SNB at that time. There are also many foreign-controlled banks operating in the country.

The two big banks’ share also rose in the case of the UK, the US and a number of other countries.

Their share almost doubled in case of Pakistan to 472 million Swiss francs, but still accounted for just 36% of the total amount of 1.3 billion Swiss franc held in all Swiss banks by their clients from that country (up from just about one billion Swiss franc a year ago).

This pushed Pakistan one place higher to 73rd place on the overall list of the countries in terms of foreigners’ money in Swiss banks. India has come down three places.

In the top-ten, the UK and the US are followed by West Indies, Guernsey, Germany, Bahamas, Luxembourg, France, Jersey and Hong Kong.

The UK alone accounts for 22% of total global funds in Swiss banks. Just four top nation together account for over half of all foreigners’ wealth in Swiss banks, which rose to 1.47 trillion Swiss franc (about Rs 102 lakh crore or $ 1.6 trillion) in 2014.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here