TIP NEWSWIRE: The names of at least six individuals with an Indian connection figure in the list of unclaimed bank accounts made public by Switzerland on Wednesday. Besides names and addresses, one entry also lists the date of birth and account number of an individual.
The names are Bernet Rosmarie, Spencer Charlotte (German national) and Vachek Pierre (born January 1, 1908, bank account number 538452)—all with residences in Bombay (presently Mumbai), while Bahadur Chandra Singh is from Dehradun. A Dr Mohan Lal from Paris and one Kishore Lall also figure in the list.
The list has over 2,600 accounts and safe deposit boxes and comprises only those accounts that has at least 500 Swiss francs and are unclaimed for at least 60 years. The value lying in the dormant accounts is estimated at 44 million Swiss franc (about Rs 300 crore).
Daniela Flückiger, head of communication, Swiss Bankers Association (SBA), told HT, “We don’t have data for specific countries or account holders from specific countries. Neither do we have insights into the amount of money.”
According to the Swiss Bankers Association, over 44 million Swiss francs ($44.5 million) is lying in different accounts, which are not managed for the past several decades since 1955. Also, close to 80 safety deposit boxes are still to be claimed by the owners.
The association has created a separate website www.dormantaccounts.ch for people to check the names listed as dormant accounts.
The SBA rules stipulate that the family members and legal heirs of these individuals will have time up to five years to lay claim for these accounts. This is the first time that Switzerland has published such a list that is aimed at giving their owners’ heirs a chance to claim the funds in these accounts.
“If no legitimate party claims the assets that have been published within one year of publication, the banks must by law transfer the assets in question to the government,” SBA said.
There are sizeable number of people from Switzerland, Germany, France, UK, US, Turkey, Austria and other countries. The list follows a new law in Switzerland that mandates publication of the names of the owners of very old dormant customer relationships on an annual basis starting 2015.