Sunday, March 21, 2010

Swiss Banks and Secret Bank Accounts!

The news floating around is that Swiss Banks have agreed to disclose the secret accounts and balances held. The estimated amount held aggregates to Rs. 70,00,000 crores from Indian customers! Story goes saying that India is leading among the 180 countries in holding such balances. Just before the General Elections in 2009, some leading politicians made promises and demands to reveal the figures and names; and it is strange that when Swiss Govt is willing to share all data from 1947 onwards, our Government and Opposition Leaders seem to be keeping mum, for the reasons best known to only themselves.  Suspicion is that most of these account holders (or shall we call them patrons) are Politicians, Bureaucrats and Businessmen.

Whenever a financial scam erupts on Indian soil, the first and foremost victim is the Indian Banking System.  It is a hobby for some people to go on accusing the banks and banking system for all the ills in the service industry if not the economy.  When it comes to disservice to customers - in rural or urban areas - none of the other service industries - Railways, Postal Services, Education, Hospitals, Travel & Tourism, etc are taken with the amount of seriousness with which banking system is criticised; despite the fact that these banks are rendering yeoman service in so many ways.

Interestingly, the Jharkhand Madhu Koda Scam (an ordinary illiterate labourer who rose to become Chief Minister of a new-born small State) surfaced, the role of banking system was under attack for not having properly scrutinised the credentials of individuals involved in crores of money changing hands. Neither the weanessess in administration nor loopeholes in the licence-raj are discussed in such situations.

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