Mass Claims and Dormant Swiss Accounts
MASS CLAIMS AND DORMANT SWISS ACCOUNTS*
A. Claims to Dormant Swiss Bank Accounts: Ambiguity in the Scope of Arbitration
What is a “non-Swiss” account?
In 1997 an independent committee representing both Jewish groups and Swiss bankers established in Zürich a Claims Resolution Tribunal (CRT)1 to resolve disputes over dormant Swiss bank deposits, some of which belonged to victims of Nazi persecution.2 These assets had generated class actions in New York,3 as well as considerable acrimony in Swiss-American commercial relationships.4
The CRT was set up to hear claims to accounts opened by “non-Swiss” persons that had been inactive since the end of the Second World War and published by the Swiss Bankers Association.5