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Oct 2004 Journal

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Central Office for Holocaust Claims

Bank commission refunds

As has been mentioned previously in this column, it is now possible to receive a refund of the British bank commissions levied on Holocaust reparations. The British Bankers' Association (BBA) has issued specific guidance notes advising British banks on how to respond to this problem.

The BBA guidelines make provision for instances in which both banks, or either the customer's bank and an intermediary bank, have taken charges. In all cases, the customer's bank will be responsible for repaying charges taken previously. The guidelines also ensure for all time that charges will not be imposed on any compensation or restitution payment.

This repayment arrangement will affect principally those in receipt of German and Austrian state pensions. The freedom from charges will also benefit those receiving payments from a number of Holocaust-era compensation and restitution schemes, including the German Foundation slave and forced labour compensation, the Swiss Refugee Programme and the Dutch Maror Fund. Commission charges will also not be levied on, among others, monies paid from the French Orphan scheme, the Hardship Fund and the Austrian National Fund for Victims of Nazi Persecution.

Those eligible for a repayment will have to show that they are in receipt of reparations and that their bank has levied charges in the past. Bank statements and remittance advices can be used to prove that charges were taken. Applications for a back payment will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

BBA guidance notes are available from the Central Office for Holocaust Claims.

Further help

Written enquiries should be sent to Central Office for Holocaust Claims (UK), Jubilee House, Merrion Avenue, Stanmore, Middx HA7 4RL, by fax to 020 8385 3075, or by email to michael@ajr.org.uk. Assistance can be provided strictly by appointment at the Holocaust Survivors' Centre in Hendon, north London. For an appointment, please ring 020 8385 3074.

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