#MoneyInSwissBanks: India witnesses 50% rise in funds; jumps to 73rd-place
India moved up to 73rd place in terms of money parked by its citizens/companies with Swiss banks in 2017, while the UK remains on the top. India slipped to 88 with a 44% plunge in such funds during 2016, but the latest data from Swiss National Bank (SNB) shows an increase of over 50% during 2017 to CHF 1.01 billion (about Rs. 7,000 crore).
Pakistan, meanwhile, is placed one place higher than India at 72, down one slot, after 21% dip in its funds in Swiss banks during 2017. The funds, described by SNB as "liabilities" of Swiss banks or "amounts due to" their clients, are official figures disclosed by Swiss authorities and don't indicate the exact quantum of the alleged black money held in Swiss safe havens.
The official figures, disclosed annually by Switzerland's central bank, also do not include the money that Indians, NRIs, or others might have in the Swiss banks in the names of entities from different countries. Also, with Switzerland putting in place an automatic information exchange framework with India and various other countries, the famed secrecy walls of Swiss banks are said to have crumbled.
The increase in Indians' money in Swiss banks already triggered sharp opposition attack on the Modi government, which in turn said it would be "wrong to assume" that all funds deposited in Swiss banks were "black money" and strong action would be taken against wrongdoers. The funds officially held by Indians with Swiss banks now account for 0.07%, up from 0.04% a year ago.
The total money held in Swiss banks by foreign clients rose by about 3% to CHF 1.46 trillion in 2017. The UK continued to account for the largest chunk at about CHF 403 billion, 27% of the total foreign money with Swiss banks. The US remains in the second position despite a dip of about 6% in such funds to CHF 166 billion.
Others in the "Top 10" included West Indies, France, Hong Kong, Bahamas, Germany, Guernsey, Luxembourg and Cayman Islands. Among BRICS countries, India remains to rank the lowest; China is at 20th place, Russia at 23rd, Brazil at 61st, and South Africa at 67th.
Countries ranked higher than India include Singapore, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Panama, Japan, Australia, Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Cyprus, Israel, Mexico, South Korea, and New Zealand among others. Those ranked below India were Mauritius (77th place), Bangladesh (95th), Sri Lanka (108th), Nepal (112th), Vatican City State (122nd), Iraq (132nd), Afghanistan (155th), Burkina Faso (162nd), Bhutan (203rd), North Korea (205th), and Palau was last at 214th place.
The increase in funds in Swiss banks was more than 100% for the Maldives, Grenada, Turkmenistan, Laos, Lesotho, Qatar, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Federated States of Micronesia, Equatorial Guinea; and Sao Tome and Principe. The countries that saw the maximum decline in such funds included Palau, St Helena, and Gambia, while North Korea, Bhutan, Macao, Burkina Faso and Iraq also recorded significant dips.