Swiss banks name Jewish accounts

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The Independent Online
Swiss bankers published details of nearly 1,800 dormant bank accounts yesterday containing pounds 25m of money which may belong to victims of the Holocaust.

The move followed significant pressure from the Jewish community which had criticised the banks for obstructing claims on the accounts.

A list of 1,872 names - which include those from joint accounts and people with power of attorney over accounts - was published in newspapers in 27 countries and on the Internet.

The Swiss Bankers' Association has promised to release by October a much larger list, of up to 20,000 dormant account holders, covering Swiss residents.

Some families discovered for the first time that they may have a claim on money which was often hidden away in the 1930s as the situation became increasingly difficult for Jews in Germany.

The publication of names was made possible after the Swiss government granted a temporary lifting of the country's strict secrecy laws.

The banks have said that they will be more flexible than usual over the proof required to claim an account.

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