The amount of Bangladesh-linked funds in the banks of Switzerland dropped 27 per cent last year (2017), according to the latest data released in Zurich on Thursday.
The report titled 'Banks in Switzerland 2017' showed that the money held by the Bangladeshi nationals and entities stood at CHF (Swiss Franc) 481.31 million in the past year, which was CHF 661.96 million in 2016.
After converting, it showed that the BD-linked money in the Swiss banks stood at Tk 40.91 billion in 2017. The amount was Tk 56.26 billion in 2016.
The Indians' money in the Swiss banks rose about 50 per cent to CHF 999.01 million (excluding fiduciary funds) in 2017, while the Pakistanis' money declined by 20 per cent to CHF 1.10 billion.
The Swiss National Bank (SNB) released the latest data, which, however, did not mention anything about the nature of the money - stashed or black money or illegally-transferred wealth.
It is generally presumed that a major portion of the money deposited in the Swiss banks is either stashed from various other countries or is black money, as Swiss banking system ensures full confidentiality of the depositors.
As a result, Switzerland has become one of the largest tax havens across the world.
SNB data also showed that the amount of funds, linked to Bangladesh, in the Swiss banks has declined after rising for five years at a stretch.
It was in 2011 when such money declined to CHF 162.59 million from CHF 243.99 million in 2010.
Since then, the amount of Bangladesh-linked money had increased every year until 2016.
Moreover, the SNB data also showed a small amount of money deposited through fiduciaries or wealth managers.
The amount stood at CHF 1.94 million (Tk 164.90 million) in the past year, also marking a sharp decline from the amount worth CHF 5.55 million in 2016.
The funds are described by SNB as 'liabilities' of the Swiss banks or 'amounts due' to their clients.
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.
According to the latest statistics, Bangladesh-linked money in the Swiss banks included CHF 33.87 million (Tk 2.87 billion) in the form of customer deposits, and CHF 447.42 million (Tk 38.03 billion) through other banks at the end of 2017.
Meanwhile, the total funds, held by all foreign clients of the Swiss banks, have increased by around 3.0 per cent to CHF 1.46 trillion in the past year.