2/3rd OD INDIAN MONEY IN 2 SWISS BANKS
The two 'big banks' also account for close to 65 per cent or about 857 billion Swiss francs (over Rs 60 lakh crore) of their client money from across the world at the end of 2013. The corresponding amount for the previous year stood higher at over 900 billion Swiss francs and at more than one trillion Swiss francs in 2011.
With regard to Indian clients, the money owed by 'big banks' increased during 2013 from about 895 million Swiss francs at the end of 2012, while the same in the preceding year was at over 1.5 billion Swiss francs. The quantum of Indian funds in Swiss banks stood at a record high level of 6.5 billion Swiss francs at the end of 2006, but it declined by more than 4 billion Swiss francs during four straight years of fall till 2010. Amid allegations of Indians stashing huge illicit wealth abroad, including in Swiss banks, the Indian government has been making efforts to bring back the unaccounted money. While a new treaty has been put in place for sharing of information on issues related to tax crimes on a prospective basis, Switzerland has also agreed to a limited retrospective clause for such information exchange in case of India. Despite stepped up pressure, Switzerland has said it cannot positively respond to requests which are beyond the ambit of bilateral tax treaty. The Swiss government's latest response came against the backdrop of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram shooting off numerous letters to his Swiss counterpart raising concerns about the Alpine nation denying information on alleged unaccounted money held by Indians in banks in Switzerland. In the letter, Chidambaram had strongly objected to Switzerland's denial of information about account details of certain Indians at HSBC's Swiss bank branches, in whose cases "incriminating evidence of tax evasion" have been found. However, Switzerland is still moving closer to do away with banking secrecy practices. Last month, it started ground work for implementation of automatic exchange of information on tax matters with various countries including India.