Indians Have 'Rather Few' Deposits: Swiss Banks

Money held by Indians in Swiss banks declined to a record low of 1.2 billion franc (about Rs 8,392 crore) at the end of 2015, as per the latest available official data. However, no official data is available for money in other global hubs.

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Indians Have 'Rather Few' Deposits: Swiss Banks

Switzerland will exchange the first set of financial data with India in 2019. (Representational)

New Delhi:  Indians have "few deposits" in Swiss banks compared to other global financial hubs like Singapore and Hong Kong, says a grouping of private bankers in Switzerland after its government formally ratified automatic exchange of financial account information with India on Friday. The move is meant to flush out black money, much of which is stacked in Swiss banks.

The first set of data will be exchanged in 2019.

Money held by Indians in Swiss banks declined to a record low of 1.2 billion franc (about Rs 8,392 crore) at the end of 2015, as per the latest available official data. However, no official data is available for money in other global hubs.

The framework of automatic exchange of tax information, which Switzerland decided to implement with India and 40 other jurisdictions, requires strict adherence to data confidentiality. However, the Geneva-based Association of Swiss Private Banks said it has no particular concern over India, where the rule of law seems to be properly upheld.

"There are also rather few deposits of Indian residents in Switzerland, as opposed to Singapore or Hong Kong for instance," the association's manager Jan Langlo told Press Trust of India from Geneva.

When asked about trends in terms of deposits from Indian residents, Mr Langlo said it has not noticed any particular trend.

"It is simply more practical for them to open an account in an Asian financial centre than in Switzerland," Mr Langlo noted.

Currently, the association has nine member banks employing around 7,500 people across the globe, as per its website. The grouping represents the business interests of privately-owned Swiss banks that specialise in wealth management.

According to data from the Swiss National Bank, the funds held by Indians with banks in Switzerland fell by CHF 596.42 million to CHF 1,217.6 million at the end of 2015.

It was the lowest amount of funds held by Indians in the Swiss banks ever since the Alpine nation began making the data public in 1997 and marked the second straight year of decline.

Flushing out black money is one of the key initiatives of the Narendra Modi government, which swept to power in 2014 on an anti-corruption plank.

With inputs from PTI

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