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New York, June 25, 1997

Governor George E. Pataki today announced the New York State Banking Department will establish an office charged with expediting the process by which Holocaust survivors, or their heirs, can make legitimate claims against Swiss banking institutions. The claims must focus on bank accounts believed to have been in existence between 1933-1945.

"Holocaust survivors or their heirs will no longer have to face the daunting prospect of 'going it alone' when it comes to dealing with Swiss banks," Governor Pataki said.

"The full resources and power of New York State's Government will be at their side, fighting for a just resolution of all legitimate claims," the Governor said. "When it comes to the Holocaust, there is no statute of limitations."

The office, to be located at 270 Broadway in New York City, will be charged with assisting claimants in the preparation and processing of their claims and ensuring that they are handled in an appropriate and expeditious matter. The office will be open to assist claimants on or about August 1.

The office is being established under the guidance of Insurance Superintendent Neil D. Levin, Chairman of the New York State Commission on the Recovery of Holocaust Victims' Assets and will be overseen by Acting Superintendent of Banks Elizabeth McCaul.

Superintendent Levin said: "I am very pleased that New York State has decided to establish a claims processing office for those Holocaust survivors or their heirs who are seeking their return of assets held in Swiss banks. This office will assist the claimants in the preparation of their claims and if necessary will act as their voice to the Swiss banks. This office will ensure that the claims are handled in an appropriate and timely fashion."


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