Julius Bär to pay back missing East German money

The money went missing around the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 Keystone / Hayoung Jeon

Swiss private bank Julius Bär will have to pay CHF150 million ($162 million) to the German authorities after a court ruling on transactions in the former East Germany.  

This content was published on September 25, 2020 - 12:18

The bank said on Friday it must pay this amount to the German Office for Reunification Issues (BVS) following a final ruling by the Federal Court at the end of August. Julius Bär said the amount was fully covered by provisions set aside at the end of last year. BVS was claiming CHF97 million plus interest accrued since 1994. 

This case has been the subject of several court rulings, the first of which dates back to April 2018. BVS, a German federal department responsible for clearing up outstanding issues surrounding the 1990 reunification of the country, filed a legal writ against the bank for assets that went missing around the fall of the Berlin Wall.  

It said money deposited by an East German trading company in the former Swiss Bank Cantrade, which has been owned by Julius Bär since 2005, went missing illegally.  

Julius Bär denied responsibility for the withdrawals, saying that Cantrade belonged to UBS during the period specified in the legal action. On Friday Julius Bär reiterated its intention to seek damages from UBS. 

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