Swiss data to find ‘hidden wealth’

New Delhi/Berne: As India prepares to analyse troves of Swiss banking details of its citizens, a large portion of the first tranche of data being shared by Switzerland under an automatic information exchange framework in September relates to accounts that have been already closed due to fear of action, bankers and regulatory officials said.

However, the data that was prepared by all Switzerland-based banks under a direction from the Swiss government for despatching further to the Indian authorities provides full details of the entire flow of funds to and from all the accounts that were active even for a single day in the year 2018, bankers said.

The data can be quite useful for establishing a strong prosecution case against those who had any unaccounted wealth in those accounts, as it provides entire details of deposits and transfers as well as of all earnings including through investments in securities and other asset classes, they said.

On condition of anonymity, several bankers and regulatory officials said the details being shared relate mostly to businessmen, including non-resident Indians now settled in several South-East Asian countries as well as in the US, the UK and even some African and South American countries.

Bankers admitted there was a huge outflow from these accounts in the last few years after a global crackdown began against the so-called high-secrecy walls associated with the Swiss banks and these accounts got closed.