CUSTOMS TODAY REPORT
ZURICH: When it comes to money in Swiss banks, Pakistan has a slight edge over India with total funds amounting to 1,441 million Swiss francs (about Rs 9,200 crore) held there by Pakistani individuals and entities. However, this was the lowest level for such funds ever since Switzerland’s central bank began compiling this data in 2002 and was less than half of the record high amount of over 3 billion Swiss francs recorded in 2005.
The previous record low of 1.95 billion Swiss francs was seen in the year 2010. In their local currency, the total funds held by individuals and entities from Pakistan in Swiss banks stood at over 15,000 crore Pakistani rupees as on December 31, 2012. This marked a decline of nearly 32 per cent from 2,119 million Swiss francs (about Rs 23,000 crore Pakistani rupees) at the end of 2011, as per the latest annual report of Switzerland’s central bank on banks operating in the country.
The issue of alleged stashing of black money in Swiss banks has been a matter of intense debate in Pakistan, as there have been reports of some top former government leaders having kept their money in banks in the European country due to their hugely popular ‘safe-haven’ status. However, a higher amount than Indian entities assumes significance because Pakistan is a much smaller country in terms of population and area. Still, the quantum of money held by Swiss banks for their Pakistani clients was about 1.5 per cent higher than the equivalent figure for Indians at 1,421 million Swiss francs (about Rs 9,100 crore) at the end of 2012, the latest data compiled by Swiss National Bank (SNB) shows.