More heirs sought for unclaimed millions

Swiss banks said yesterday that a further 300 names had been added to a list seeking heirs to accounts holding tens of millions of Swiss francs dormant for at least 60 years.

The newly added accounts held assets of about eight million Swiss francs (R114-million), the Swiss Bankers’ Association said.

They follow an initial listing in December last year of more than 2 600 accounts of individuals or companies without any movements on their Swiss bank accounts for the past60 years.

The dormant accounts are listed on the website www.dormantaccounts.ch to give their owners’ heirs a chance to claim the funds.

“The banks today published further names for which it has not been possible to establish contact since 1956,” the association said.

Claimants have a year to come forward before banks must hand the assets over to the Swiss state.

For accounts that have been dormant for longer than 60 years, claimants have five years.

The list includes about 4 000 accounts holding tens of millions of Swiss francs and dozens of safety deposit boxes.

Since the website was launched in December, Swiss banks had found heirs for about 5% of the accounts listed on the site, the bankers’ association said.
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