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Indians’ funds in Swiss banks rise to Rs 20,700 cr & black money not back

Indian money deposits in Swiss banks soar to over Rs 20,700 crores, the highest in 13 years while customer account deposits saw a dip.

The money deposited through bonds, securities and other financial tools rose up precipitously and this was through data released in the annual report of the Swiss National Bank, a group of official figures reported to the central bank by various individual banks in the country.

This data does not ledger the alleged “black money” held by Indians in Switzerland nor does it include the money that Indians might have in Swiss banks in names of third-country entities.

This is a rise of more than 183% from the 899 million Swiss francs (Rs 6,625 crore) at the end of 2019.  The deposits stood at a record high of 6.5.  Swiss francs (over Rs 52,500 crore) in 2006, following which it has mostly charted a downward trend, except for a few years in 2011, 2013 and 2017, as per the Swiss National Bank data.

Funds assorted as “customer account deposits” have actually declined from 550 million Swiss francs (over Rs 4,442 crore) in 2019 to 503.9 million (over Rs 4,000 crore). The money held through fiduciaries and trusts also reduced from 7.4 million Swiss francs (Rs 59.76 crore) to 2 million Swiss francs (Rs 16.5 crore).

However, the amounts deposited through bonds, securities and various other financial instruments rose sharply from 253 million Swiss francs (Rs 2,043 crore) to 1.66 billion Swiss francs (nearly Rs 13,500 crore), during this period.

Notably, the “locational banking statistics” of the Bank for International Settlement, show an increase of nearly 39% during 2020, in Indian deposits in Swiss banks, to $125.9 million (Rs 932 crore). This data has been described in the past by Indian and Swiss authorities as a more reliable measure for deposits by Indian individuals in Swiss banks.

The figure, which also considers account deposits as well as loans of Indian non-bank clients of Swiss-domiciled banks, had risen by 7% in 2019.

In October 2019, Swiss tax authorities had shared with India the first tranche of details about the financial accounts of Indian clients in Swiss banks under the automatic information exchange framework between the two countries. However, the finance ministry had refused to share details of the data, saying such disclosures are prohibited under “confidentiality provisions” of a tax treaty between India and Switzerland.

The election promises of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 2014 elections was to vote in BJP and he would bring back the black money to India, ensuring Indian households would get 15 lakhs each deposited in their bank account.  Of course, that never happened, but over the years, there has been a sharp precipited difference between the rich and poor in India as well with sharp contrasts between the rich and poor in standards of living.

India’s super rich population to grow 73% over 5 years while in 2019, 51% super rich Indians increased their fortunes.  The top 10% of the Indian population holds 77% of the total national wealth. 73% of the wealth generated in 2017 went to the richest 1%, while 67 million Indians who consist of the poorest half of the population saw only a 1% increase in their wealth. There are 119 billionaires in India.

The nation is in the clutches of a jaw-hungry capatilizm threatening to ravage the poor, but are any of the power-hungry politicians listening or even bothered?

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