Bangladeshis deposit in Swiss banks up by 20pc

399 desk, June 30: Deposits by Bangladeshi citizens at Swiss banks rose to Tk 5,666 crore in 2016 from Tk 4,500 crore in 2015, up by 20.57 per cent from the earlier rate of 9 per cent, according to a report released by Swiss National Bank (SNB) on Thursday.

The deposits went up despite an ongoing global clampdown on the famed secrecy wall of the Swiss banking system.

The deposited amount stood at Tk 4,283 crore in 2014, 36.02 per cent up from the previous year. It was Tk 3,149 crore in 2013 and Tk 1,991 crore in 2012, shows the SNB data.

Overall, the money held in Swiss banks by their foreign clients from across the world rose to 1.5 trillion Swiss franc in 2014 from 1.32 trillion franc in 2013.

Switzerland is not the only country that has received Bangladeshi funds, as names of Canada, Malaysia and the UAE are also on the list.

Experts blame chaotic politics and lack of security for the rise in flows of money to Swiss banks.

The funds, described by the SNB as “liabilities” of Swiss banks or “amounts due to” their clients, are the official figures disclosed by the Swiss authorities.

These numbers, however, don’t shed light on the alleged black money held by Bangladeshis.

The SNB figures also don’t include the money that Bangladeshis or others might have deposited with Swiss banks in the names of entities from various countries.

For several decades, Switzerland has provided wealthy families around the world a convenient and safe place to stash their money.

The country’s political neutrality, stability and tradition of bank secrecy have kept their fortunes beyond the reach of national governments and the most determined tax collectors.

Switzerland is now facing growing pressure from many countries to share details of foreign clients of its banks.

Swiss banks have also come under global pressure as countries, including India, are stepping up efforts to crack down on the black money menace. A Europe-led clampdown has also been launched on tax evasion and corruption.