Funds parked by Indian individuals and firms in Swiss banks, including through India-based branches and other financial institutions, jumped to a 14-year-high of 3.83 billion Swiss francs (over Rs 30,500 crore) in 2021 on a sharp surge in holdings via securities and similar instruments while customer deposits rose as well, annual data from Switzerland’s central bank showed on Thursday.
The rise in aggregate funds of Indian clients with Swiss banks, from 2.55 billion Swiss francs (Rs 20,700 crore) at the end of 2020, marks the second consecutive year of increase.
Besides, the money held in Indian customers’ savings or deposit accounts rose to a seven-year high of about Rs 4,800 crore, reversing a two-year declining trend.
The total amount of CHF 3,831.91 million, described by the SNB as ‘total liabilities’ of Swiss banks or ‘amounts due to’ their Indian clients at the end of 2021, included CHF 602.03 million in customer deposits (up from CHF 504 million at 2020-end), CHF 1,225 million held via other banks (up from CHF 383 million), and CHF 3 million through fiduciaries or trusts (up from CHF 2 million).
The highest component of CHF 2,002 million (up from CHF 1,665 million) was ‘other amounts due to customers’ in form of bonds, securities and various other financial instruments.
The total amount 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, 2017, 2020 and now in 2021, as per the Swiss National Bank (SNB) data.
While all four components had declined during 2019, the year 2020 saw a significant plunge in customer deposits, while there has been a surge across all categories in 2021.
These are official figures reported by banks to the SNB and do not indicate the quantum of the much-debated alleged black money held by Indians in Switzerland. These figures also do not include the money that Indians, NRIs or others might have in Swiss banks in the names of third-country entities.