Direct assets owned by Pakistanis in Swiss banks declined by half in 2019

Direct assets owned by Pakistanis in Swiss banks declined by half in 2019

Direct assets owned by Pakistani citizens in Swiss banks stood at $377 million in 2019

Assets kept by Pakistanis in Swiss banks has declined by 50% in the last year, according to a report by the Swiss National Bank. The central bank of Switzerland issues a report called the “Banks in Switzerland 2019” which puts assets owned by Pakistanis at $377 million, down from $754 million in 2018.

The assets owned by Pakistani nationals kept in Swiss banks reached their peak in 2015 when the figure crossed $1.5 billion. This is the fourth consecutive year when the assets directly owned by the Pakistanis have declined in the Swiss Banks.

However, the assets of Pakistani nationals maintained in Swiss banks through trustees or wealth managers rose significantly to $527 million in 2019 from the $316 million in the previous year.

According to the report, various factors stop Pakistan from fully benefitting from the sharing of financial information by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). These factors include amnesty schemes by the incumbent and previous government as well as the poor structure of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

The Amnesty schemes have failed to achieve the desired outcome and only a few hundred people have benefitted from them. The money declared under the last two major amnesty schemes has been less than 150 billion rupees with taxes of mere few billion rupees received.

OECD shared information about nearly 58,000 Pakistanis with around $7.5 billion in 154,000 OECD banks accounts during 2018 and 2019. However, only six million dollars have been recovered till date.

A number of government official initially claimed that Pakistanis have stashed about $200 billion in the Swiss Banks. However, the government recently admitted that the number was inaccurate and an exaggeration. The details shared by the OECD with the FBR have yet to be revealed by Pakistan’s tax collecting authority.

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