Money parked by Indians in Swiss banks rose over 50 per cent to CHF 1.01 billion (Rs 7,000 crore) in 2017, reversing a three-year downward trend amid India’s clampdown on suspected black money stashed there.
In comparison, the total funds held by all foreign clients of Swiss banks rose about 3 per cent to CHF 1.46 trillion or about Rs 100 lakh crore in 2017, according to the official annual data released today by Swiss National Bank (SNB), the central banking authority of the Alpine nation.
The surge in Indian money held with Swiss banks comes as a surprise given India’s continuing clampdown on suspected black money stashed abroad, including in banks of Switzerland that used to be known for their famed secrecy walls for years.
The Indian money in Swiss banks had fallen by 45 per cent in 2016, marking their biggest ever yearly plunge, to CHF 676 million (about Rs 4,500 crore) — the lowest ever since the European nation began making the data public in 1987.
According to the SNB data, the total funds held by Indians directly with Swiss banks rose to 999 million Swiss franc (Rs 6,891 crore) in 2017, while the same held through fiduciaries or wealth managers increased to CHF 16.2 million (Rs 112 crore). These figures stood at CHF 664.8 million and CHF 11 million, respectively, at the end of 2016.
As per the latest data, the Indian money in Swiss banks included CHF 464 million (Rs 3,200 crore) in the form of customer deposits, CHF 152 million (Rs 1,050 crore) through other banks and CHF 383 million (Rs 2,640 crore) as ‘other liabilities’ such as securities at the end of 2017.
The funds under all three heads have risen sharply, as against a huge plunge across all categories in the previous year, the SNB data showed.
The funds held through fiduciaries alone used to be in billions till 2007 but began falling after that amid fears of regulatory crackdown.
The total funds held by Indians with Swiss banks stood at a record high of CHF 6.5 billion (Rs 23,000 crore) at 2006-end, but came down to nearly one-tenth of that level in about a decade.