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Swiss banks to publish list of dormant accounts

A complete list of dormant Holocaust-era accounts will be published by the end of the year. Keystone / Christoph Ruckstuhl

The Swiss Bankers' Association is preparing to publish on the Internet a complete list of dormant accounts dating from the Holocaust era.

This content was published on August 9, 2000 - 15:20

The account holders' names will appear on the Internet by the end of the year, and should open the way for compensation payments to be made to Holocaust victims or their heirs.

The list of tens of thousands of names was finalised by the Volcker Commission, which carried out an independent inquiry into dormant accounts belonging to Holocaust victims.

The Commission, acting on behalf of the Bankers' Association, discovered 46,000 unclaimed accounts after trawling through the records of some 60 Swiss banks.

The announcement that a final list will soon be available comes just weeks after an American judge, Edward Korman, urged Swiss businesses to come clean about whether they had used slave labour during the Second World War.

Several big names in the business world, among them Nestlé and ABB, have admitted that they employed forced labour in their German branches. And Switzerland's biggest bank, UBS, confirmed that a Polish cement works owned by one of its predecessors was forced by the Nazis to employ 400 slave labourers from the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Judge Korman has said that forced labourers from the Nazi era may receive compensation from a global settlement reached two years ago between the Swiss banks and Jewish organisations.

However, the bulk of the money will be used to compensate Holocaust victims and their heirs. The first payments from the fund are expected to take place this year.

swissinfo with agencies

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