Money kept by Pakistani nationals in Swiss banks fell marginally to 1.4 billion Swiss Franc (about Rs 9,500 crore) in 2016, even as the same from India fell for the third consecutive year to hit a record low. As per the latest data released on Thursday by Switzerland’s central bank SNB (Swiss National Bank), the total funds linked to Pakistan in Swiss banks stood at CHF 1,416 million at the end of 2016, down nearly 6 per cent from CHF 1,513 million a year ago.
This included funds amounting to CHF 1386.6 million (down from 1,477 million at 2015-end) held directly by Pakistani nationals and entities and CHF 29 million (down from 36 million) through fiduciaries or wealth managers.
Earlier in 2015, these funds had risen 16 per cent from CHF 1,301 billion at 2014-end.
The decline follows two consecutive years of rise in Pakistan-linked funds in Swiss banks, while the same for India has fallen for the third consecutive year now and stood at CHF 676 million (Rs 4,500 crore) at the end of 2016 – a decline of 45 per cent.
This is the second time that the funds linked to Pakistan in Swiss banks have exceeded that of Indians.
A number of other major countries also saw their funds falling in Swiss banks amid a global clampdown against the erstwhile banking secrecy walls in the Alpine nation.
However, these official figures disclosed by SNB do not include the money that the foreign clients of Swiss banks might have kept in the name of shadow entities or shell companies.
Also, these figures do not indicate towards the quantum of alleged black money, which has been a matter of a major political debate in various countries, including India and Pakistan.
As per the SNB data, the total funds linked to Pakistan in Swiss banks stood at a record high level of CHF 3.43 billion in the year 2001, but has come down considerably since then.
By 2013, it fell to as low as CHF 1.23 billion, the lowest since 1996 since when this data is available. However, it has risen by 6 per cent and 16 per cent during the last two years 2014 and 2015, respectively.
As per the SNB data, the total money held in Swiss banks by all their foreign clients from across the world however rose from CHF 1.41 trillion (USD 1.45 trillion or about Rs 98 lakh crore) to CHF 1.42 trillion (USD 1.48 trillion) in 2016.