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Bangladeshis fast draw back from Swiss banks

FE REPORT | June 21, 2024 00:00:00

Money withdrawal from Swiss banks by Bangladeshi nationals gathered an unprecedented pace, according to a latest Swiss National Bank or SNB report that comes amid unfolding tales of fund flights.

The SNB annual report, published Thursday, June 20, says the amount of deposits of Bangladeshis with Swiss banks decreased from 55 million Swiss francs to 18 million francs last year (2023) in an around 67-percent drop in the money kept in the Swiss banks.

Such fast withdrawals of money from Swiss banks by Bangladeshis have been on the increase for the past few years, too.

Earlier in 2021, the amount of deposits of Bangladeshis in Swiss banks was 872 million Swiss francs. But the following year, in 2022, it plummeted to 55 million francs.

Assuming Tk 131 per franc, the amount stands at around at Tk 2.38 billion.

According to Swiss central bank statistics, the total deposits of Bangladeshis in Swiss banks include all types of funds, including personal, bank and other enterprise deposits.

Many people from different parts of the world keep money, accrued either legally or illegally, in Swiss banks. Due to its strict secretive banking policy, people from all over the world deposit money there.

Swiss law strongly protects consumer privacy. As a result of this cover of law, the country's banks are not obliged to disclose customer information to anyone under any circumstances.

The Swiss banks do not give any information of who, why or how of the money deposited with the banks. But many people are shifting from Swiss banks to other countries around the world due to privacy questions and criticisms about the siphoning of money.

Back at home, there seems to be a crackdown on huge unaccounted-for wealth accumulation alongside a simultaneous budgetary fiscal amnesty on black money for mainstreaming those in the economy in financial crunch.

In the meantime, Indian individuals and firms too saw a significant drop in the money they kept in Swiss banks last year.

According to Switzerland's central bank, these funds fell by 70 per cent in 2023 to 1.04 billion Swiss Francs.

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