“Swiss envoy’s statement that Bangladesh did not seek bank account information is false”

Says Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen

File photo of Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen.

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File photo of Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen.

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has said Swiss Ambassador Natalie Chuard’s statement that Bangladesh did not request any specific information about Bangladeshi citizens’ accounts from the Swiss bank is false.

He said the Governor of the Bank of Bangladesh and the Minister of Finance confirmed today that they had requested information on the bank accounts of Bangladeshi citizens from the Swiss authorities, but did not respond.

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“I then told them to make public statements about it, because you can’t get away with making false statements,” Momen told ministry reporters today.

When asked if the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would speak to the Swiss Embassy in this regard, he replied: “Let the Secretary for Banking and Finance of Bangladesh first issue a statement publicly, and then we tell him.”

During a DCAB conference at the National Press Club yesterday (August 10, 2022), Natalie Chuard had said that the government of Bangladesh does not want specific information about the money of its citizens deposited in Swiss banks.

The amount of money that individuals put into Swiss banks around the world has been declining recently, she said.

However, according to the annual report published in June this year by the Swiss central bank, the funds deposited by Bangladeshi citizens in Swiss banks increased by almost 55% to reach 871.11 million Swiss francs year-on-year in 2021. There are allegations that most of the money was earned illegally.

She said that Switzerland is committed to maintaining international standards and that it is possible to exchange such information based on the consent of both parties.

Chuard had said, “We have advised the government of what needs to be done to obtain the information, but no specific information has been requested from us.”