Swiss National Bank – Annual Banking Statistics: Relevant Points

The annual banking statistics released by the Swiss National Bank makes the following observations:

  • The UK has retained its top position in terms of money parked by its citizens and enterprises with Swiss banks.
  • The UK accounts for more than 26 per cent of the total foreign funds parked with Swiss banks at the end of 2018.
  • The UK is followed by the US, West Indies, France and Hong Kong in the list of top five nations.
  • The top-five countries account for more than 50 per cent of the aggregate foreign funds parked with the Swiss banks, while the top-10 account for nearly two-thirds. Whereas 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.
  • The other countries in Top 10 are Bahamas, Germany, Luxembourg, Cayman Islands and Singapore.
  • Among BRICS countries India was ranked lowest whereas Russia with the rank of 20th has been ranked the highest. Among other BRICS countries, China is at 22nd, South Africa at 60th and Brazil at 65th place.
  • India which was ranked 73rd last year has moved down one place to rank 74.
  • India accounts for about 0.07 per cent of the aggregate funds parked by all foreign clients of Switzerland-based banks.
  • India’s neighbouring nations were are ranked lower, with Pakistan ranking 82nd, Bangladesh 89th, Nepal 109th, Sri Lanka 141st, Myanmar 187th and Bhutan 193rd rank.

It has to be observed that for number of major countries saw their funds falling in Swiss banks amid a global clampdown against the erstwhile banking secrecy walls in the Alpine nation.

Swiss Banks were seen as a safety heaven for those parking their illegal and unaccounted incomes. The reduction in India’s rank is a welcome sign but it has to be kept in mind that  the disclosed numbers does not include the money that Indians, NRIs or others might have in Swiss banks in the names of entities from different countries. Further many use multiple layers of various jurisdictions, including tax havens, to shift the money to Swiss banks.

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