United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York,
Chief Judge Edward R. Korman Presiding (CV-96-4849)

 
 
Bank Claims
2005 Publication

 

2005 List of Swiss Bank Accounts from the ICEP Investigation

Introduction to the 2005 List of Accounts

On January 13, 2005, the Claims Resolution Tribunal (the “CRT”) published an additional list of names of Swiss bank accounts whose owners were probably or possibly Victims of Nazi persecution (the “2005 List”). Individuals who believe that they are owners or heirs of owners of any of these accounts, and these accounts only, may file a claim with the CRT. This additional list of names of Swiss bank Account Owners and Power of Attorney Holders and the related claims process supplement the claims process that was established in 2001 to provide Nazi Victims and their heirs with an opportunity to make claims to assets deposited in Swiss banks in the period before and during World War II. The claims process is part of the settlement of the Holocaust Victim Assets class action litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Chief Judge Edward R. Korman presiding. In December 2000, after a comprehensive investigation by the Independent Committee of Eminent Persons (“ICEP”) of Swiss bank records, approximately 36,000 accounts were identified by the ICEP auditors as being either probably or possibly owned by Victims of Nazi Persecution. On February 5, 2001, a list was published with the endorsement of the Swiss Federal Banking Commission (“SFBC”) that contained names of owners of approximately 21,000 accounts that were part of the ICEP auditors’ findings. As of January 2005, the CRT has recommended and the Court has approved 1,615 awards totaling approximately $230 million to over 2,800 claimants who plausibly have shown that they or their relatives had deposited assets in Swiss banks in the period from 1933 to 1945 that had not been previously repaid to them. Please be advised that the CRT continues to process all claims filed in connection with the list published in 2001.

The publication of an additional list of Account Owner and Power of Attorney Holder names came about in the following way. On June 17, 2004, the Court approved the Second Memorandum to File agreed upon by Professor Burt Neuborne, Settlement Counsel for Plaintiff Class, and Roger Witten, Counsel for UBS AG and Credit Suisse. This agreement to “improve the functioning of the Deposited Assets Class” included an understanding to publish an additional list of names, once approval was granted by the SFBC. For further details, see Second Memorandum to File, available elsewhere on this Internet site. The 2005 List that follows presents the names of approximately 2,700 Account Owners and 400 Power of Attorney Holders that were specified in the Second Memorandum to File and whose publication has now been approved by the SFBC.

The purpose of the 2005 List is to enable eligible claimants to identify the owners of Swiss bank accounts that were open or opened between 1933 and 1945 and to make claims to those accounts to which they may be entitled. Claim forms, claims procedures, and other relevant information are available elsewhere on this Internet site and on the Internet site of the Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation (www.swissbankclaims.com).

Contents of the 2005 List

The 2005 List includes names of owners of approximately 2,400 accounts previously identified during the ICEP investigation of Swiss banks as possibly related to Victims of Nazi persecution. These names were not previously included in the list of names endorsed by the SFBC for publication in 2001. In addition, the 2005 List includes names of owners of accounts previously identified in a survey of dormant bank accounts conducted pursuant to the 1962 Swiss Federal Decree on Assets of Victims of Racial, Religious and Political Persecution (the “1962 Survey”) as probably belonging to Nazi victims and later published by Swiss authorities, as well as names of Polish and Hungarian Account Owners whose World War II - era Swiss bank accounts were the subject of post-War international agreements between Switzerland, Poland, and Hungary. Additional names of Account Owners were identified in records available to the CRT from archival sources. The 2005 List also includes, in a separate section, the names of persons who held power of attorney over the accounts whose owners are listed.

The 2005 List has been reviewed to remove names of Account Owners who could not have been Nazi Victims and to remove names of Account Owners whose accounts were definitely paid to them or their heirs. Nevertheless, the 2005 List may still include some names that are not those of Nazi Victims and/or names of owners whose accounts were returned to them. Where doubt existed as to whether a name should be included for publication, the name was included in order to ensure that all those who may be entitled to an account at issue may make a claim.If the CRT determines that an Account Owner on the 2005 List was not a Nazi victim as defined by the terms of the Settlement Agreement (available elsewhere on this Internet site and at www.swissbankclaims.com), the CRT has no authority under the Agreement to process a claim that may be filed to that account. The CRT will refer any such claims to the appropriate Swiss banking authorities. If the CRT determines that an account appearing on the 2005 List previously was returned to the Account Owner or his/her heirs, such prior restitution will be taken into consideration by the CRT in assessing whether, or in what amount, to recommend an award.