Swiss Accounts Lose Appeal For African Looters After Rate Cut

Swiss Accounts Lose Appeal For African Looters After Rate Cut

Consultancy firm African Intelligence estimates that Swiss banks receive over $150 billion from Africa every year, mostly from stolen public funds by corrupt government officials, due to the attractiveness of its Swiss-franc denominated assets that are considered a safe haven, eNews reported.

But a recent slash of the country’s official interest rate to negative by the Swiss National Bank could reduce the appeal for looters seeking a place to hide their stash. The country is trying to reduce the attractiveness of its banking services, because, surprisingly, the huge desire for Swiss banks is hurting the country.

Nigeria, Egypt, Seychelles and South Africa are among the top countries in Africa with account in the European safe haven. Switzerland has however over recent years been repatriated billions of dollars stashed in its banks to clear up its image, among them around $700 million dollars laundered by former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha.

Other dictators who have hid their money in Swiss accounts are former Democratic Republic of Congo (previous known as Zaire) ruler Mobutu Seseko and Egypt’s disposed president Hosni Mubarak and his sons.