India drops down to 74th rank in money parked in Swiss banks, UK maintains top spot
India on Sunday dropped one place in the annual banking statistics report released by the Swiss National Bank (SNB). India is now positioned at the 74th rank in terms of money parked by the Indian individuals and enterprises in the Swiss banks. While India has slipped one place, the United Kingdom continued to maintain its top position in the rankings based on money in Swiss banks.
India was ranked 73rd in 2018 after it jumped 15 places from its 88th position a year ago. India has ranked "very low" when it comes to money parked in the Swiss banks, the analysis shows. Currently, India accounts for just 0.07 per cent of the aggregate amount parked by all foreign clients of Switzerland-based banks.
The United Kingdom, on the other hand, accounted for more than 26 per cent of the total foreign funds till December 2018. The United Kingdom is followed by the United States. The other countries in the top five are West Indies, France, and Hong Kong.
According to the annual banking statistics report, the top-five countries alone account for more than 50 per cent of the aggregate foreign funds.
On the other hand, the top 10 countries account for nearly two-thirds of the aggregate foreign funds parked in the Swiss banks. The top-10 countries also include Bahamas, Germany, Luxembourg, Cayman Islands and Singapore.
The top-15 countries account for nearly 75 per cent of all foreign money in Swiss banks, while the contribution of the top-30 is almost 90 per cent.
Among the five-nation BRICS, India is ranked the lowest while Russia is ranked the highest at 20th position. Russia is followed by China at 22nd spot, South Africa at 60th and Brazil at 65th place in terms of the amount of money parked by their residents at the end of 2018.
The countries that have been positioned higher than India also include Mauritius (71st), the Philippines (54th), Venezuela (53rd), Seychelles (52nd), Thailand (39th), Turkey (30th), Israel (28th), Saudi Arabia (21st), Panama (18th), Italy (15th), Australia (13th), UAE (12th) and Guernsey (11th).
As for India's neighbouring countries, most of them are ranked lower in the report released by the Swiss National Bank, with Pakistan ranking 82nd, Bangladesh 89th, Nepal 109th, Sri Lanka 141st, Myanmar 187th and Bhutan 193rd.
Notably, this the first time in the last four years that the funds linked to Pakistan in Swiss banks have slipped below that of Indians. 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 funds, described by SNB as 'liabilities' of Swiss banks or 'amounts due to' their clients, are official figures disclosed by Swiss authorities and do not indicate the exact quantum of the much-debated alleged black money held in famed safe havens of Switzerland.
The official figures, disclosed annually by Switzerland's central bank, also do not include the money that Indians, NRIs or others might have in Swiss banks in the names of entities from different countries
It has been often alleged that Indians and other nationals seeking to stash their illicit wealth abroad use multiple layers of various jurisdictions, including tax havens, to shift the money to Swiss banks.
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. India will start getting this automatic data from this year, while it has already been getting information on accounts where proof of illicit funds can be furnished.
Money parked by Indian clients fell by nearly 6 per cent in 2018 to 955 million Swiss francs (about Rs 6,757 crore) to hit its second-lowest level in over two decades.