New Delhi, June 29: The deposits made by Indians in Swiss banks came down by a whopping 45 per cent in 2016, reveals the data released by Switzerland’s central bank – the Swiss National Bank (SNB). The total amount deposited by Indians in the banks based in Alpine nations amounted to 676 million Swiss Francs (CHF), or Rs 4,500-crore, which is lowest ever since 1987, when Switzerland began releasing figures in the public. Also Read - Big Move Against Black Money: India Gets Details of Swiss Account Holders
Although the Indian share came down, the total money deposited in Swiss banks continues to rise. The global deposits amounted to CHF 1.41 trillion (which is roughly Rs 96 lakh crore). Also Read - Deposits by Indians in Swiss Banks Fell by 80% Under Modi Govt, Reports of 50% Increase Misleading: Piyush Goyal
Out of the 676 million CHF stashed by Indians in the Alpine nations, 377 million CHF is in form of customer deposits, whereas, 98 million CHF is owned by Indians through fiduciaries and 190 million in form of other ‘liabilities’. As per the data released by SNB, the figures have come down across all sectors. Also Read - Will Get Data on Black Money From Switzerland by 2019, Says Piyush Goyal; Assures Action Against Wrongdoers
The amount held by Indians in Swiss banks reached its peak in 2006-end, when figures claimed that money held by Indians amounted to CHF 6.5 billion (Rs 23,000 crore). With over a decade later, nearly one-tenth of the amount is deposited in Swiss banks.
Although the Indian deposits have been sliding year-after-year since 2006, a sharp rise was witnessed in 2011 and 2013, when the amount deposited by Indians rose by 12 per cent and 42 per cent respectively.
The data released in public by SNB comes in the wake of a new framework for automatic exchange of information (AEOI) signed between India and Switzerland. Under the rules ratified by Swiss authorities, New Delhi would not be allowed to release the data on Swiss account holders in the public.
“We would like to ensure that bank data that will be transmitted in 2019 is used for tax verification purposes only… if data received from another country has been misused in a jurisdiction, Switzerland is unlikely to send data to that jurisdiction,” said Jan Langlo, Manager of Geneva-based Association of Swiss Private Banks.
On the deposits made by Indian account holders depositing over the past few years, Langlo said Indians would prefer financial hubs based in Asia, especially Singapore and Hong Kong, rather than Switzerland. “It is simply more practical for them to open an account in an Asian financial centre than in Switzerland,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.
The deposits made by Indians also witnessed a sharp decline following the regime change in New Delhi, in May 2014. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the new government began examining the list of Indian account holders in HSBC bank of Geneva.
The Income Tax department had detected Rs 8,186 crore of undisclosed income against those whose names figured in the HSBC list. Over the past three years, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seized properties of some individuals named in the HSBC list under a new clause in the the Foreign Exchange Management Act.