Indians’ funds in Swiss Bank rise 20,000 Cr in a year; finance ministry refutes

New Delhi: The finance ministry on Saturday refuted the reports implying alleged black money stashed in Switzerland by Indians. The finance ministry’s statement was in response to reports that funds stored in Swiss banks by Indians rocketed upwards in the year 2020, rising to over Rs 20,700 crore, or CHF 2.55 billion.

In comparison to the Rs 6.625 crore or CHF 899 million at the end of 2019, this is a momentous increase, a report by PTI said.

“The total amount of CHF 2,554.7 million ( ₹20,706 crore), described by the SNB as ‘total liabilities’ of Swiss banks or ‘amounts due to’ their Indian clients at the end of 2020, included CHF 503.9 million (over ₹4,000 crore) in customer deposits, CHF 383 million (over ₹3,100 crore) held via other banks, CHF 2 million ( ₹16.5 crore) through fiduciaries or trusts and the highest component of CHF 1,664.8 million (nearly ₹13,500 crore) as ‘other amounts due to customers’ in form of bonds, securities and various other financial instruments,” the PTI report read. 

It is said to be the highest figure of deposits in the last thirteen years, reversing a declining trend that had gripped the funds for the last two years.

In its statement, the finance ministry contended that the media reports did not indicate the quantum of alleged black money deposited by Indians in Swiss banks. They further said that the figures presented did not include the money that NRIs, resident Indians, or any other people may have in Swiss banks under the name of third-country entities.

The biggest increase is in the form of bonds, securities, and financial instruments, and customer deposits have fallen from what was reported at the end of 2019.

The ministry also said that it has requested information from Swiss authorities to verify the increase or decrease of deposits. “India and Switzerland are signatories to the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (MAAC) and both countries have also signed the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) pursuant to which, the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) is activated between the two countries for sharing of financial account information annually for calendar year 2018 onwards,” the statement said.

The statement published on June 19 included a list of factors that may be responsible for the increase in deposits.

Due to an increase in business transactions, there could be a rise in the deposits of Indian companies in Switzerland. The business of Swiss Bank branches situated in India could be leading to an increase in deposits. An expansion in capital for a subsidiary of a Swiss Company in India could potentially explain the surge. A growth in inter-bank transactions between the banks of the two countries, and finally, a capital increase for a subsidiary of a Swiss company located in India could also be probable causes.

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