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Switzerland remains largest offshore financial centre

Switzerland remains the world's largest offshore financial centre with client assets totalling over USD two trillion, a new study said.

Updated:October 30, 2014, 8:09 PM IST
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Switzerland remains largest offshore financial centre
Switzerland remains the world's largest offshore financial centre with client assets totalling over USD two trillion, a new study said.

Geneva: A huge global pressure to break secrecy veils of Swiss banks notwithstanding, Switzerland remains the world's largest offshore financial centre with client assets totalling over USD two trillion, a new study said.

Besides the country is expected to remain "the biggest offshore centre for private banking in 2018," with emerging countries to continue to make largest contribution to growth in private banking segment.

Switzerland remains the "biggest private banking financial centres for cross border wealth management" with assets worth over CHF 2.11 trillion (USD 2.2 trillion), as per the study conducted by the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

The Alpine nation is ahead of many other jurisdictions, including Carribean and Panama' which has cross border invested assets to the tune of 1.07 trillion Swiss francs (CHF).

These figures are for the year 2013.

On the third place is Channel Islands and Dublin with assets worth CHF 1.05 trillion followed by Great Britain (CHF 920 billion), Singapore (CHF 880 billion), USA (CHF 650 billion), Luxembourg (CHF 520 billion) and Hong Kong (CHF 420 billion).

In recent times, Switzerland, long perceived as a haven for stashing unaccounted wealth, has been facing international pressure, especially with regard to its banking secrecy practices. India is also looking to get details about its citizens suspected of having illicit wealth parked in Swiss banks.

Last year, the Swiss banking sector saw its gross revenues rise to CHF 54.4 billion.

As per the study, growth opportunities exist for the Swiss banking centre in specific segments such as with global UHNWIs and HNWI clients, as well as with customers from emerging countries.

HNWI (High Net Worth Individual) are those customers having assets between 1 and 20 million Swiss francs, while UHNWIs are those with assets of more than USD 20 million.

For this study, the regions designated as emerging countries are Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.

According to the study, private banking would remain the largest business area, accounting for 50 per cent of total revenues, followed by the retail and corporate client businesses and asset management.

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