Pakistanis quietly withdrew 50% of the total assets from all Swiss accounts after revised treaty

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Switzerland’s central bank, the Swiss National Bank, published an annual report titled “Banks in Switzerland 2019”. This report disclosed that the money kept by Pakistani nationals in the country’s banks had decreased by 50%. In 2018, the amount stood at around $754 million, and now the amount left is $377 million, which is the lowest level ever.

Previously, in 2015, the direct assets of Pakistani nationals kept in Swiss banks had peaked and crossed an amount worth $1.5 billion. However, it was observed that Pakistanis had been consistently withdrawing their wealth from the Swiss banks since 2015. This withdrawal began right after a revised taxation treaty was signed between Pakistan and Switzerland.

On the other hand, the assets of Pakistani nationals kept in Swiss banks through trustees or wealth managers in 2018 increased from $316 million to $527 million in 2019.

The report noted that the former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and incumbent PM Imran Khan’s accorded tax amnesty schemes, along with the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) poor administration structure impeded Pakistan’s ability to benefit. Otherwise, Pakistan could have benefitted from the exchange of information by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Regarding this, the OECD shared the details of the $7.5 billion kept in 154,000 OECD bank accounts owned by 57,450 Pakistani nationals in 2018 and 2019. Following this, in a parliamentary committee meeting, the FBR’s Directorate General of International Taxes revealed that just $6 million had been recovered till now.

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