According to the data provided by the Finance Ministry sources, based on a letter provided by Switzerland ambassador, the Indian money in Swiss banks get reduced to 2,234 million dollar in 2014 and it further reduced to 1,447 million dollar in 2015.
As per the data, it was only 800 million dollar in 2016 which further went down to 524 million dollar in 2017.
Recent media reports had quoted that the Indian money in Swiss bank increased by 50 per cent in 2017.
Finance Ministry sources said the data were misinterpreted as it includes non-deposit liabilities Business of Swiss branches located in India Inter bank transactions Fiduciary liability.
Sources said, “Therefore, as mentioned by the Swiss Ambassador Andreas Baum in a letter to Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, it is frequently assumed that any assets held by Indian Residents in Switzerland are undeclared (black money).”
The letter also mentions that the right data to identify Indian residents’ deposits in Switzerland is published by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) which collects Locational Banking Statistics (LBS) in collaboration with SNB.
Swiss Ambassador has mentioned that LBS measures international banking activity from a residence perspective, focusing on the location of banking office and LBS capture around 95 per cent of all cross-border banking activity.
Data from BIS shows non-bank loans and deposits (which really constitute the individual and corporate deposits used as Black money haven in the past and exclude inter bank transactions) have fallen by 34.5 per cent in 2017 compared to 2016 ($524 Mn in 2017 vs $800 Mn in 2016).
India also signed an agreement with Switzerland on 21st December, 2017. Both the countries started collecting data in accordance with global standards on January 1st 2018, and would start the exchange of data from September 2019 on a yearly basis. This makes relevant information available in India which eliminates the threat of black money and action can be taken against any entity indulging in such activities.
Sources further mentioned that on 28 June 2018, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) issued its annual banking statistics on the 2017 banking year. The figures published are based on surveys of banks carried out by the SNB and provide for a comprehensive picture of the Swiss banking sector.
The figures published by the SNB are regularly mentioned in the Indian media as a reliable indicator of the amount of assets held with Swiss financial institutions in respect of Indian residents. More often than not, the media reports have not taken account of the way the figures have to be interpreted, which has resulted in misleading headlines and analyses. Moreover, it is frequently assumed that any assets held by Indian residents in Switzerland are undeclared (so-called ‘Black Money’). (UNI)