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Rumours denied of breakthrough over Holocaust-era accounts

An American judge has denied rumours that the two big Swiss banks, UBS and Credit Suisse, have agreed to allow investigators to probe over two million Holocaust-era accounts.

The judge, Edward Korman, is responsible for implementing a 1998 agreement between the banks and Jewish groups to compensate Holocaust victims and their heirs with claims to pre-war Swiss bank accounts.

Opening the two million accounts to scrutiny could speed up the disbursement of the $1.25 billion settlement. An independent commission has called on the banks to allow more than four million accounts to be investigated.

The $1.25 billion cannot be distributed until investigators have determined how many accounts belonged to Holocaust survivors, and how much compensation should be paid.

swissinfo with agencies