The Swiss central bank has estimated the total liabilities of Swiss banks toward Indian account holders at about $2.5 billion in 2010, as against the $1.5 trillion figure projected by some political parties and non-governmental organisations.
“The Swiss National Bank can only say that liabilities of Swiss banks toward Indian holders according to our annual statistics... were Swiss francs 1.945 billion ($2.5 billion)in 2010,” the spokesperson for the Swiss National Bank president, Walter Meier, told PTI.
He said the liabilities of Swiss banks toward Indian account holders was 1.965 billion Swiss francs ($2.7 billion) in 2009 and 2.4 billion Swiss francs (about $3 billion) in 2008.
In the aftermath of the financial crisis that engulfed the West after the collapse of Lehman Bank in the United States in 2008, Swiss private banks, particularly their largest bank, UBS, had suffered huge losses.
Several legal cases against Swiss banks, especially UBS, for parking funds illegally subscribed to by wealthy US citizens through tax evasion, as well as growing international pressure from the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and G-20 financial regulations forced the Swiss government to considerably relax confidentiality provisions for numbered accounts.