Indians’ money parked in Swiss banks surge to over Rs 20,000 cr; highest in 13 years

Funds held by Indian individuals and companies in Swiss banks jumped to 2.5 billion Swiss francs (Rs 20,700 crore) in 2020.

The money was parked through India-based branches and other financial institutions. The holdings via securities and similar instruments saw a steep rise, however, customer deposits dropped, annual data from Switzerland’s central bank showed on Thursday, PTI reported.

The figure for 2020 is the highest in 13 years, reversing a two-year declining trend. At the end of 2019, the collection funds of Indian depositors with Swiss banks stood at 899 million Swiss francs, or Rs 6,625 crore, the report noted.

So the deposits hit a record high of around 6.5 billion Swiss francs in 2006, following which they have mostly been on a downward path, except for a few years including in 2011, 2013, and 2017, as per the Swiss National Bank (SNB) data.

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How it’s highest in 13 years?

The total amount of CHF (Swiss franc) 2,554.7 million (Rs 20,706 crore), described by the SNB 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.

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However, the biggest difference has been a surge in ‘other amounts due to customers’ from India, which rose over six times from CHF 253 million at 2019-end. All four components had declined during 2019.

It peaked at over $2.3 billion (over Rs 9,000 crore) at the end of 2007. Such exchange of information has taken place in hundreds of cases so far.

Others in the top 10 were West Indies, France, Hong Kong, Germany, Singapore, Luxembourg, Cayman Islands, and Bahamas. Amid BRICS nations, India stood below China and Russia, but above South Africa and Brazil.

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