Specific provisions relating to bank-related compensation
Bank-related compensations are governed by the Washington Agreement, signed by the French and United States Governments on January 18, 2001.
Up until February 2, 2005, claimants for whom no bank account had been found in the archives had the possibility of swearing an affidavit (a statement under oath). This document enabled claimants to obtain a fixed indemnity of USD3000 (made up of two rounds of compensation of USD1500 each).
After February 2, 2005, it is still possible to lodge a claim in respect of bank-related spoliations, but compensation will be paid only on accounts/safe deposit boxes that are effectively identified in the archives and as having never been compensated or restituted after the war.
Thus any claim forwarded to the CIVS prior to the date of February 2, 2005, will be processed according to the arrangements under the previous scheme. If the archive searches are inconclusive, the heirs and successors of spoliated persons may still qualify for a fixed sum of USD3000 on the basis of evidence of credible proofs certified by affidavit. If the claimant has not attached an affidavit to the file, the CIVS will send him one for him to fill in.
If the searches have proved positive, compensation granted will be allocated according to different criteria, as appropriate:
- Up to USD4000 if the adjusted balance on the account/safe deposit box is less than USD3000 or is not known. This sum of USD4000 is comprised of the adjusted balance on the account/safe deposit box, made up to USD3000, plus an additional payment of USD1000; - Up to USD10,000 if the adjusted balance on the account/safe deposit box is between USD3000 and USD10,000; - Up to the actual adjusted balance on the account/safe deposit box is this is in excess of USD10,000.
For example, if a balance of 1 euro (sum certified in francs in 1941 and adjusted in euro) is identified, this will be made up to USD4000. If the balance is equivalent to EUR5000 after updating, it will be made up to USD10,000. Finally, if a balance of EUR15,000 is identified, this sum is re-adjusted and restituted in full, subject to the decision of the Commission.
It should be made clear that where compensation is granted, the balances of the assets compensated are charged:
- To the banks where the assets concerned prove to be personal assets (bank book, checking account, safe deposit box, etc.) - To the State where the assets concerned are connected to a corporation and had been under “provisional administration” in the context of the Aryanization procedures (corporate accounts, safe deposit boxes opened by the Occupying Forces, etc.)
In both cases, the supplementary payments are made from the bank funds provided under the Washington Agreement, namely:
- From Fund B up to USD4000 per account, if the balance is less than USD3000. - From Fund A up to USD10,000 per account, if the balance is between USD3000 and USD10,000.
Incidentally, it should be noted that 70% of the balances on retrieved accounts are of less than USD3000.
For your information, the CIVS applies the same priority criteria to bank-related claims as it does to material claims. Thus the files of the following persons will be processed first: direct victims of spoliations, aged 75 years and over, suffering from serious illness or severe financial hardship, without omitting from the number of priorities, those which the Washington Agreement recognizes as pertaining particularly to bank-related claims.
For more information, consult the FAQs