The New York State Banking Department has signed an agreement with Swiss regulators allowing state officials to examine records in Switzerland of Holocaust-era bank accounts.
The agreement with the Swiss Federal Banking Commission relates to confidential customer information about dormant accounts and unclaimed assets held in branches or agencies of Swiss banks in New York. It also covers accounts that may have been transferred to Switzerland before 1960.
Separately, five New York banks which served as correspondents to Swiss banks from 1933 to 1945 have also voluntarily agreed to cooperate with a state investigation. The banks are Chase Manhattan Corp., Citicorp, Bankers Trust New York Corp., Bank of New York Co., and J.P. Morgan & Co.
New York Gov. George E. Pataki said the agreement marks the first time that a government agency outside Switzerland will be permitted to examine documents there. Investigations are also being conducted by a nongovernmental commission and by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Alfonse D'Amato.