Money deposited by Bangladeshis in Swiss banks fell slightly in 2019, according to the latest data released in Zurich on Thursday.
The annual report of the Swiss National Bank or SNB titled 'Banks in Switzerland 2019' showed that the money held by the Bangladeshi nationals and entities stood at CHF (Swiss Franc) 613.27 million last year, dropping by 1.49 per cent from CHF 622.55 in 2018.
The funds are described by Swiss central bank as 'liabilities' of Switzerland's banks.
After converting to local currency (at the average rate of CHF 1=Tk 89.30) it showed that the Bangladesh-linked funds in the Swiss banking system reached Tk 54.76 billion in 2019, down from Tk 55.59 billion the previous year.
The figure includes the amount deposited through fiduciaries or wealth managers. Of these, BD-linked money of around CHF 10.24 million (Tk 914.60 million) was deposited through the fiduciaries, which was CHF 4.83 (Tk 432.29 million) in 2018.
The SNB statistics, however, did not say anything about the nature of the money- stashed or black money or illegally-transferred wealth, although a major chunk of the cash held in Swiss banks is perceived to be either stashed from different countries or black money.
The official statistics released by SNB also does not include the money that any Bangladesh-linked client of the Swiss banks might have deposited and kept in the name of shadow entities or shell companies.
Meanwhile, the total funds, held by all foreign clients of the Swiss banks, increased by around 3.0 per cent to CHF 1.44 trillion in the past year from 1.39 trillion in 2018.
The Indians' money in the Swiss banks dropped further to CHF 899.46 million (including fiduciary funds) in the last year from CHF 954.73 million in 2018.
Pakistanis' money in Swiss banks also declined sharply by 45 per cent to CHF 410.22 million in 2019, which was CHF 745.27 million in the previous year.
The general system ensures full confidentiality of the depositors by Swiss banks, the country has become one of the largest tax havens in the world.
For the last few years, the Swiss government has come under pressure to tighten the banking regulation and share depositors' information with governments around the world.