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Bangladesh never asked for specific info from Swiss bank: Ambassador

The Bangladesh government has not asked for any specific information on the Swiss bank accounts of its citizens, according to Switzerland Ambassador to Bangladesh Nathalie Chuard.

“We have provided the government all available information on how to reach an agreement on these matters, but no request has been submitted regarding particular funds,” she said at an event organised by the Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh on Wednesday.

Asked by a reporter whether the government had not sought any information on money laundering, Chuard added that there had not been any request ‘about specific funding’.

Switzerland is committed to implementing international standards, she said.

“In accordance with these international standards we can also have some specific regulations and agreements with countries to exchange this type of information.”

“We can also work on that with Bangladesh.”

Every year, Switzerland provides a statistical breakdown of which country money in Swiss banks has come from, Chuard said. Bangladesh has received it too.

According to those statistics, the amount of money individuals placed in Swiss banks around the world has decreased recently, she said.

However, the funds deposited by Bangladeshi clients in the banks of Switzerland have increased by nearly 55 percent to 871.11 million Swiss francs year-on-year in 2021 when the world was trying to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Asked whether Switzerland encouraged people to deposit illegal wealth in its banks, the ambassador insisted that her country did not.

“The Swiss banking system is the most renowned and connected in the world. It is a big part of our GDP – about 10 percent. So it is very important for us.”

The Swiss banking system has changed, as have the ideas about Swiss banks easing the flow of money into Switzerland, Chuard said.

“Over the past few years, Switzerland has not only developed, and contributed to, but also spearheaded many international reforms and provided new standards and contributed to the elaboration of new standards regarding many different issues such as the illicit transfer of funds, corruption, money laundering, etc.”