Diplomatic Correspondent: Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen yesterday said Bangladesh sought information on the deposits of Bangladeshi money in the Swiss banks but the Swiss side did not respond to the query.
Momen said this after his conversation on the issue with Bangladesh Bank governor Abdur Rouf Talukder and Finance Secretary Fatima Yasmin yesterday.
The foreign minister said he advised the governor and the finance ministry to come up with the statements as confusion arose following some media reports quoting Ambassador of Switzerland to Bangladesh Nathalie Chuard.
“Let’s know first from the statements from the governor and the finance ministry,” he said while talking to a small group of reporters at his office.
Momen said it is not true that Bangladesh did not seek information from Switzerland.
The Swiss envoy at the DCAB Talk on Wednesday said any estimate on deposits of Bangladeshi money in the Swiss banks is “purely speculative” and no conclusion can be drawn on the basis of media and other reports. “Switzerland is not a safe haven for corrupt money,”
she said adding “When it comes to the Bangladeshi money deposited in the Swiss banks – the deposits meant by individuals …represent only one aspect of various sources of public and private funds.”
The Swiss envoy said … no conclusion can be drawn on the volumes of private deposits from Bangladeshi customers in Switzerland on the basis of these reports of the Swiss National Bank.
Bangladeshi media outlets reported that funds parked by Bangladeshi nationals and entities in all the Swiss banks swelled by 54 per cent to around CHF (Swiss Franc) 871 million (Tk 83.18 billion) in the last calendar year. The amount was around CHF 563 million in 2020.
Responding to a question on information exchange on the issue, she said Switzerland is really committed to implementing international standards. In accordance with these international standards they can have some specific regulations and agreements also with the country to exchange this type of information, she said.
“So that is something should be developed,” said the ambassador, adding that they have been providing to the government all the information regarding how to reach an agreement on these matters but no request has been submitted regarding any particular funding.
On the statistics, the Swiss envoy said, money of the individuals that is placed, for instance, in Swiss banks – not just in Switzerland but in the Swiss banks worldwide – has recently been decreasing.
She said they certainly do not encourage capital flight and the Swiss bank system is the most renowned and internationally connected system.
At all the financial centers, the envoy said, there is always a risk of abuse but Switzerland really takes steps to mitigate its risk as fast as possible.
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