The Claims Resolution Tribunal for Dormant Accounts in Switzerland
Löwenstrasse 19
P.O. Box 7589
Zurich, Switzerland
Telephone: 41-1-215-52-52
Telephone from the United States: 011-800-0123-0456
web: www.crt.ch
(link coming soon)

The Claims Resolution Procedure - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Claims Resolution Agreement?

The Claims Resolution Agreement is the contract enclosed with this booklet.   If you want to submit your claim to the Claims Resolution Tribunal, please sign the English version of the Agreement and return it with the enclosed envelope to Ernst & Young in Basel.   By signing the Agreement you agree to take advantage of the Claim Resolution Procedure in accordance with the Rules of Procedure that are reprinted in the back of this booklet.

Do I have to sign the Claims Resolution Agreement?

Yes, if you wish to have the Claims Resolution Tribunal resolve your claim.   The Claims Resolution Procedure offers the following advantages: it is without costs to claimants and all claims will be promptly resolved under relaxed standards of proof.   However, you are not obligated in any way to submit your claim to the Claims Resolution Tribunal; you are free to pursue your claim independently.

Why should I submit my claim to the Claims Resolution Panel?

The Claims Resolution Procedure is designed to resolve dormant account claims in a timely and fair manner.   The Rules of Procedure have been tailored to the special circumstances of World War II-era dormant accounts.   The Claims Resolution Tribunal has special expertise in matters of dormant accounts, will apply relaxed standards of proof and take into account the particular circumstances of your case.   Moreover, special rules are being developed to assure fair treatment of interest and fees on published dormant accounts.   Depending on the particular circumstances of your case, you may be eligible to benefit from these rules.

Which issues will the arbitrators focus on?

In principle, there are three issues that the arbitrators will review to decide your claim:
  • First, they will check whether the person you believe is the account holder is indeed the person who opened the published dormant account.   In order to establish this, you should provide as much information as possible on the account holder, in particular information that was not published in the list of dormant accounts, such as the exact address of the account holder or the maiden name of his spouse.   If possible, it would be particularly helpful to submit a document with the signature of the account holder.   The arbitrators will then compare the information you have provided with the bank's documents to determine whether it is plausible that the account holder is the person you believe it is.

  • Second, the arbitrators will review whether you are an heir of the account holder or otherwise entitled to his or her account.&Nbsp;  This determination will probably depend on your blood relationship to the account holder, but it is also possible that the spouse of the account holder or his or her family may be entitled to the dormant account.   If possible, you should therefore submit as many documents and information, including any official certificates and photographs, bearing on your family relationship.

  • Third, the arbitrators will determine the amount of principal and interest the bank should pay you.

If my claim is successful, will I get the full amount in the dormant account?

This depends on the number of heirs who are entitled to the dormant account.   If you are the sole heir of the account holder, you will receive the full amount deposited in the dormant account including in certain circumstances an adjustment for interest and fees.   If the account holder has more than one surviving heir, however, you may have to share the dormant account with the other heirs.   Your share in the dormant account will depend on the applicable inheritance law.

The Claims Resolution Tribunal will invite other heirs who have not submitted a claim to participate in the proceedings.   If they cannot be reached or elect not to join the Claims Resolution Procedure, the arbitrators may award to you the share of the dormant account to which you are entitled.

Will I receive interest if my claim is successful?

It depends on what kind of account is involved.   Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to a special adjustment above what was required by the deposit agreement.   The Board of Trustees of the Independent Claims Resolution Foundation has commissioned a panel of international experts, chaired by the noted economist Henry Kaufman, to establish guidelines for adjustment of bank fees, interest and other portfolio returns taking into account the special circumstances of World War ll-era dormant accounts, in particular those of Holocaust victims.

In due course the arbitrators will be sending you these guidelines.   In appropriate cases the arbitrators will add the adjustment to successful claims.

What does relaxed standard of proof mean?

It means that for your claim to succeed you must show that it is plausible that you are entitled to all or part of the assets in the dormant account given the special circumstances involved.   In making this determination, the arbitrators will take into account the destruction of World War II, the Holocaust and the long time that has passed since the opening of the account.

What kind of documents should I submit?

In addition to the documentation that you have already submitted, you should file any other documentation that can help the arbitrators determine that you are entitled to the account.   This includes, for example, letters mentioning the account in Switzerland, photographs, any form of bank documentation or correspondence or any documentation that proves your relationship to the original account holder.   Because the Claims Resolution Procedure will use a relaxed standard of proof, anything that can help demonstrate your entitlement to the account will be taken into consideration.

What if I find additional documents regarding my claim after the proceedings have started?

The arbitrators hearing your claim will give you the opportunity to file additional information that may be helpful.

Will I have to pay for the costs of the Claims Resolution Process?

No. All costs and expenses of the Claims Resolution Tribunal will be borne by the Independent Claims Resolution Foundation.

Do I need to hire a lawyer?

No.   It is not necessary to hire a lawyer.   The arbitrators are responsible to determine the facts and the law that apply to your claim and to assist you in submitting relevant information.   Of course, you may have a lawyer or another person assist and represent you in the claims procedure at your own expense.   However, as a general matter you will be responsible for the cost of any lawyers, accountants or other professionals you may choose to retain.   Under certain limited circumstances, you may be awarded up to 5,000 US$ as a full or partial reimbursement of your cost and expenses.

How will the arbitrators be chosen?

The arbitrator or arbitrators who will decide your case will be chosen by the Chairman of the Claims Resolution Tribunal from among the panel of 15 arbitrators.   In making these nominations, the Chairman will follow the guidelines established in the Rules of Procedure.

The chairman and the arbitrators have been selected by the Board of Trustees of the Independent Claims Resolution Foundation for their experience, independence, and judgment.

What language will be used to decide my claim?

The arbitrators will determine the language of each procedure by taking into account the languages you speak.   If you have any particular language preference, please bring this to the attention of the Claims Resolution Tribunal.   Otherwise, the procedure will be conducted in English.

Will I be required to travel to Switzerland to present my claim?

To the extent possible, claims will be resolved based on the documentary evidence without requiring a claimant to appear personally.   It may be necessary in some cases to hear parties, to interview witnesses or to hear oral arguments.   These hearings may be held at any place deemed appropriate by the arbitrators.   If a hearing is necessary in your case, the arbitrators will contact you and make arrangements that are convenient for you.

How long will it take for my claim to be decided?

All claims will be decided on an expedited basis.   Fast-track claims should be approved within a month after submission.   It is expected that all other claims will be decided within one year after the publication of the dormant accounts.

May I challenge the decision of the arbitrators if my claim is denied?

Yes, under Swiss law, you have a right to challenge the award of the arbitrators on certain limited grounds within 30 days of the award.

Will my case be treated confidentially?

You may decide whether the decision of the Claims Resolution Tribunal of your claim will be published with your name and the name of the account holder.   If you request that your name and the name of the account holder not be published, please check the box contained in the Claims Resolution Agreement.

Will the Claims Resolution Tribunal hear claims to accounts that have not been published?

No.   The Claims Resolution Tribunal will only decide claims to dormant accounts of non-Swiss individuals that have been published by the Swiss Bankers Association.   If you believe you have a claim to a World War ll-era dormant account that has not been published, you may submit a claim form to the Ernst & Young Contact Office in Basel.   Such claims will be referred to the Independent Committee of Eminent Persons.

If I have any questions, who can help me?

If you have questions about the Claims Resolution Procedure, you may contact the staff of the Claims Resolution Tribunal at any time.   You can reach them at [+ 41 1 215 54 20] and toll-free from the United States at [011 800 0123 0456] from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Swiss time on week days.

The Independent Committee of Eminent Persons
20 rue de Candolle (3rd Floor), 1205 Geneva, Switzerland
email: info@icep-iaep.org    &    icep-iaep.org :web