Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Bangladeshi citizens’ deposits with different Swiss banks increased by more than 36 per cent in 2014, according to the latest data released by the Swiss National Bank (SNB), the central bank of Switzerland.
The funds held directly by Bangladeshi individuals and entities with banks in Switzerland stood at around 506 million Swiss francs (US$ 545 million) in 2014 from 372 million Swiss francs a year ago.
Swiss banks denote those banks located and operated in Switzerland and known for holding money, mostly transferred illicitly from other countries by evading tax.
The latest data from the Zurich-based SNB also raises question about the Bangladesh Bank’s much-hyped initiative to seek information from the Swiss central bank.
Apart from Bangladesh, a number of other countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy, saw their exposure to Swiss banks increase during the year, resulting in the rise in funds held by foreign clients at Switzerland’s banking institutions.
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.
However, Indian citizens’ deposits with Swiss banks fell by more than 10 percent to 1.8 billion franc last year amid the Indian government’s efforts to bring back the unaccounted money.
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.
Talking to BBN, a senior banker said chaotic politics and lack of security for the rise in flows of money to Swiss banks. “Many Bangladeshis have stashed in Swiss banks their incomes from external sources.”
He also said the e government would have to rise over partisan politics and take punitive measures for stalling illegal flow of money. “The law and order, and governance must also be improved.”