Indian funds in Swiss banks over Rs 20,000 crore? Finance Ministry refutes claim

Swiss banks
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The Finance Ministry has refuted the reports that the funds of Indians in Swiss banks rose to over Rs 20,700 crore in 2020, the highest figure of deposits in the last 13 years.

“Certain reports have appeared in the media on 18.06.2021 stating that funds of Indians in Swiss Banks have risen to over ₹ 20,700 crore (CHF 2.55 billion) at the end of 2020 from ₹ 6,625 crore (CHF 899 million) at the end of 2019, reversing a 2-year declining trend. It has also been stated that this is also the highest figure of deposits in the last 13 years,” the ministry said.

Finance Ministry refutes reports

The ministry said that media reports indicate that the reported figures are official figures provided by banks to the Swiss National Bank (SNB). Furthermore, it said these reports do not indicate the quantum of alleged black money held by Indians in Swiss banks.

It further clarified that these statistics do not include money that Indians, NRIs or others may hold in Swiss banks in the names of third-country entities.

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However, customer deposits have decreased from 2019 end. Funds held through fiduciaries have also decreased by more than half since the end of 2019. The biggest rise is in “other amounts due from customers”. These come in the form of bonds, securities, and various other financial instruments.

Agreement

It should be noted that India and Switzerland have signed the Multilateral Agreement on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (MAAC).

The two countries have also signed the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) according to which the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) is enabled between them to exchange information on financial accounts every year for the calendar year 2018 onwards.

In 2019 and 2020, the two countries exchanged information on financial accounts in respect of to residents of each country.

Image source: Tony Badwy

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