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Swiss panel to end Holocaust claims report in November

The Volcker commission searching for dormant Holocaust-era accounts in Swiss banks says it plans to present its final report before the end of November.

This content was published on September 1, 1999 - 13:23

The Volcker commission searching for dormant Holocaust-era accounts in Swiss banks says it plans to present its final report before the end of November.

The Independent Committee of Eminent Persons, which was set up in 1996 and is chaired by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, made the announcement at the end of its two-day meeting in New York on Tuesday.

The commission tasked four separate investigative bodies to check 61 banks for dormant accounts.

"Now that the basic investigative work has been completed...the committee expects to be able to complete its work and publish a definitive report before the end of November," the committee said in a news release.

The final report, which was originally due to be completed in September, will record the committee's findings on the identification of dormant, or inactive, accounts in Swiss banks originating in the period from 1933 to 1945.

The committee has checked millions of names for possible links to dormant accounts since the panel was set up in 1996.

Part of the assets were labelled dormant as contact between the bank and the owner broke off. In some cases this happened because the account holder had not survived.

The report is separate from a $1.25 billion settlement reached last year between Switzerland's biggest banks and Holocaust victims who alleged banks had profited from Nazi crimes by illegally keeping assets deposited for safekeeping.

Public investigation of the role of banks and institutions in neutral Switzerland during World War II has gathered pace in recent years amid pressure from Jewish groups and victims' families to find lost assets before the last Holocaust survivors die.

From staff and wire reports.

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