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Banks call for claimants of $44m in Swiss bank accounts

Swiss Francs Image copyright Getty Images

The Swiss banking industry has released the names of holders of dormant accounts, in the hope they will come forward to claim over $44m.

More than 2,600 names were released on dormantaccounts.ch.

New Swiss banking regulations mean that if an account containing more the 500 Swiss Francs ($505; £335) has been left dormant for 60 years, ownership of the funds reverts to the state.

Around 80 safety deposit boxes have also been gathering dust since 1955.

The deadline for submitting a claim is one year from the date of publication of the account holder's name.

"By publishing this information, the banks are making a last attempt to re-establish contact with the customer," said Claude-Alain Margelisch, chief executive of the Swiss Bankers Association.

He added that the new regulations - which took effect in January - also create legal clarity about dormant assets.

The banking lobby group said that banks may charge their costs to claimants who file clearly unfounded requests.

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