A little over CHF380 million ($388.58 million) in Pakistan-origin funds were held in Swiss banks at the end of 2018, a drop of more than a third compared to 2017.This content was published on June 27, 2019 - 17:01
The figure was released on Thursday as part of the Swiss National Bank’s annual statistics report. It also signals the first time in four years that Pakistan has been surpassed by its bigger neighbour India, which accounted for over CHF572 million. There is nothing in the SNB report to suggest that the funds are from illegitimate sources.
Pakistan has recently signed an agreement with Switzerland for the automatic exchange of banking information (AEOI) that is awaiting Swiss parliamentary approval. This will ensure that financial information on bank accounts held by Pakistani citizens in Switzerland and vice-versa will be shared annually on an automatic basis. It is expected that both countries will begin collecting banking data from 2020 and exchange information on an annual basis from 2021.
India has already started the automatic exchange of banking information with Switzerland.
In an effort to prevent losing its status as a global financial hub, Switzerland signed the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters in 2014. The Swiss parliament approved the deal in 2015, the treaty was ratified in 2016, and it came into effect on January 1, 2017.
The first exchanges took place with European Union countries and other developed nations that already met global AEOI standards.
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