Govt questions reports on rise in Indians’ Swiss bank black stash

NEW DELHI: The finance ministry said on Saturday that there did not appear to be “any significant possibility” of an increase in Swiss bank deposits from undeclared incomes of Indians.
The ministry was reacting to reports which suggested funds of Indians in Swiss banks have risen to over Rs 20,700 crore at the end of 2020 from Rs 6,625 crore at the end of 2019, reversing a two-year decline. It said exchange of financial information have taken place between both countries in 2019 and 2020. In view of existing legal arrangement for exchange of information of financial accounts, there does not appear to be any significant possibility for increase of deposits in Swiss banks which is out of undeclared incomes of Indian residents.
It said Swiss authorities have been requested to provide possible reasons for increase/decrease. “Media reports allude to the fact that the figures reported are official figures reported by banks to Swiss National Bank and do not indicate the quantum of alleged black money… these statistics do not include the money that Indians, NRIs or others might have in Swiss banks in the names of third-country entities,” the statement said.
It said customer deposits and fund held through fiduciaries have actually fallen from the end of 2019. The ministry listed factors that could explain the increase. These include rise in deposits held by Indian firms in Switzerland, increase in deposits owing to business of Swiss bank branches in India, rise in transactions between Swiss and Indian banks, a capital increase for a subsidiary of a Swiss company in India and increase in liabilities connected with outstanding derivative financial instruments.

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