Zurich: Defying a global trend, money kept by Pakistani nationals in Swiss banks has risen by over 16 per cent to 1.5 billion francs (over Rs 10,000 crore), exceeding that of Indians.
As per the latest data released today by Switzerland’s central bank SNB (Swiss National Bank), the total funds linked to Pakistan in Swiss banks stood at CHF 1,513 million at the end of 2015, up nearly 16 per cent from CHF 1,301 billion a year ago.
This included funds amounting to CHF 1,477 million held directly by Pakistani nationals and entities and CHF 36 million through fiduciaries or wealth managers.
This is the second straight year of rise in Pakistan- linked funds in Swiss banks, while the same for India has fallen for the second consecutive year and stood at CHF 1,217 million (Rs 8,392 crore) at the end of 2015 – a decline of 33 per cent.
This is the first time in the last three years that the funds linked to Pakistan in Swiss banks have exceeded that of Indians.
In case of China, the total funds declined from CHF 8.16 billion to CHF 7.4 billion.
A number of other major countries also saw their funds falling in Swiss banks amid a global clampdown against the erstwhile banking secrecy walls in the Alpine nation.
The money of US clients in Swiss banks fell to CHF 195 billion in 2015, from CHF 244 billion a year ago, though the same for the UK clients surprisingly rose from CHF 321 billion to CHF 345 billion.
However, these official figures disclosed by SNB do not include the money that the foreign clients of Swiss banks might have kept in the name of shadow entities or shell companies.
Also, these figures do not indicate towards the quantum of alleged black money, which has been a matter of a major political debate in various countries including India and Pakistan.
As per the SNB data, the total funds linked to Pakistan in Swiss banks stood at a record high level of CHF 3.43 billion in the year 2001, but has come down considerably since then.
By 2013, it fell to as low as CHF 1.23 billion, the lowest since 1996 since when this data is available. However, it has risen by 6 per cent and 16 per cent during the last two years 2014 and 2015, respectively.
In case of India, the quantum of such funds has fallen in the last two years.