Indian funds in Swiss banks see a dip

Reduced holdings attributed to enhanced scrutiny of the system by governments

June 19, 2015 04:16 am | Updated December 04, 2021 11:24 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

The 2014 figures mark the second lowest amount held by Indians there, the lowest being in 2012.

The 2014 figures mark the second lowest amount held by Indians there, the lowest being in 2012.

Funds held by Indians in Swiss banks in 2014 fell to 1.8 billion Swiss francs (about Rs. 12,537 crore) from around 2 billion Swiss francs (about Rs. 14,000 crore) in 2013, a 10.6 per cent decrease, says the Swiss National Bank’s annual report for 2014.

The 2014 figures mark the second lowest amount held by Indians there, the lowest being in 2012, when holdings fell to Rs. 890 crore. Since 2010, Indian funds have been reducing (except in 2011), mostly due to the enhanced scrutiny of the system by various governments, including India’s, to clamp down on black money.

Of the Rs. 12,537 crore held by Indians, Rs. 12,280 crore was held directly and the rest through fiduciaries, or wealth managers. The amount held directly fell 9 per cent from the 2013 levels, while that held through fiduciaries halved from Rs. 52,8129 crore in 2013. Swiss banks in 2014 had Rs. 1,01,80,800 crore of foreign funds, up from Rs. 89,06.800 crore in 2013. The increased scrutiny on the banking system led to a fall in foreign funds in 2012 and 2013, but this trend was bucked by the 11 per cent increase in foreign funds in 2014. This latest data come at a time when Switzerland has finally begun to share foreign client details following the submission of evidence of wrongdoing.

Data do not give complete picture

While the fall in Indian holdings in Swiss banks is a good sign, it is still an incomplete picture. The figures released in the Swiss National Bank’s annual report for 2014 do not take into account the sums of money Indians might have parked under the names of entities from other countries.

In India, the government has formed a Special Investigation Team to probe cases of black money being held by Indians, including the funds held by them in banks of other countries like Switzerland.

Despite a major crackdown by the U.S. government against Swiss banks, funds held by U.S. citizens and companies there rose for the second year to $2.65 bn in 2014.

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