Zurich/New Delhi: Indians’ money in Swiss banks has risen to over two billion Swiss francs (nearly Rs 14,000 crore), despite a global clampdown against the famed secrecy wall of Switzerland banking system.
The funds held by Indians with banks in Switzerland rose by over 40 per cent during 2013, from about 1.42 billion Swiss francs at the end of previous year, as per the latest data released on Thursday by the country’s central banking authority Swiss National Bank (SNB).
In contrast, the money held in Swiss banks by their foreign clients from across the world continued to decline and stood at a record low of 1.32 trillion Swiss francs (about $1.56 trillion or over Rs 90 lakh crore) at the end of 2013.
During 2012, the Indians’ money in Swiss banks had fallen by over one-third to a record low level. The total Indian money held in Swiss banks included 1.95 billion Swiss francs held directly by Indian individuals and entities, and another 77.3 million Swiss francs through ‘fiduciaries’ or wealth managers at the end of 2013.
The latest data from Zurich-based SNB comes at a time when Switzerland is facing growing pressure from India and many other countries to share foreign client details, while its own lawmakers are resisting such measures. India has also constituted a Special Investigation Team to pro-be cases of alleged black money of Indians, including funds stashed in places like Switzerland.
The funds, described by SNB as ‘liabilities’ of Swiss banks or ‘amounts due to’ their clients, are the official figures disclosed by the Swiss authorities and do not indicate towards the quantum of the much-debated alleged black money held by Indians in the safe havens of Switzerland.
SNB’s official figures also do not include the money that Indians or others might have in Swiss banks in the names of entities from different countries.
The SNB said that the focus of banks in the country continues to shift away from foreign clients to domestic business, as reflected in the decline in their overall amounts due to overseas customers. Out of a total of 283 banks in Switzerland, down from nearly 300 at the beginning of 2013, two banks are classified as big banks, while there are 93 foreign-controlled banks....