Annual data from Switzerland’s central bank on Tuesday showed that funds deposited by Indian individuals and firms in Swiss banks, including through India-based branches and other financial institutions, has climbed to 2.55 billion Swiss francs (over Rs 20,700 crore) in 2020 on a sharp surge in holdings via securities and similar instruments, though customer deposits fell.
The increment in aggregate funds by Indian depositors with Swiss banks, from 899 million Swiss francs (Rs 6,625 crore) at the end of 2019, reverses a two-year declining trend and has taken the total aggregate funds to the highest level in 13 years.
As per the Swiss National Bank (SNB) data, the funds stood at a record high of nearly 6.5 billion Swiss francs in 2006, after which it has been mostly on a downward path, except for a few years including in 2011, 2013 and 2017.
The SNB described total amount of CHF 2,554.7 million (Rs 20,706 crore) as ‘total liabilities’ of Swiss banks or ‘amounts due to’ their Indian clients at the end of 2020, included CHF 503.9 million (over Rs 4,000 crore) in customer deposits, CHF 383 million (over Rs 3,100 crore) held via other banks, CHF 2 million (Rs 16.5 crore) through fiduciaries or trusts and the highest component of CHF 1,664.8 million (nearly Rs 13,500 crore) as ‘other amounts due to customers’ in form of bonds, securities and various other financial instruments.
While the money held via other banks rose sharply from CHF 88 million at the end of 2019, the funds classified as ‘customer account deposits’ have actually declined from CHF 550 million, and those through fiduciaries also more than halved from CHF 7.4 million.
The biggest difference, however, has been a surge in ‘other amounts due to customers’ from India, which climbed over six times from CHF 253 million at 2019-end.
All four components had declined during 2019.
The numbers are officially reported by banks to the SNB and in no way, indicate the volume of infamous ‘black money’ Indians hold in Swiss banks.