In 1996 and early 1997, a number of class action lawsuits were filed in the United States of America against several Swiss banks on behalf of “Victims of Nazi Persecution”. The cases called for the release of dormant accounts of Holocaust victims. The plaintiffs alleged that these banks knowingly retained and concealed assets of Holocaust victims and collaborated with and aided the Nazi Regime by accepting and laundering illegally obtained Nazi loot and profits of slave labor.
In August 1998, the parties reached an agreement to settle the lawsuits for $1.25 billion, signed in January, 1999. At the request of the Swiss Banks Settlement Fund, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) established the Holocaust Victims Assets Programme (HVAP) (Swiss Banks) . HVAP’s purpose was to process and pay the claims of Holocaust survivors who were members of certain target groups, and were not recognised in other reparations programmes, as well as forced or slave labourers for Swiss companies during the Nazi era.
A brief summary of the scheme, provided by the IOM, can be read here. The official website of the HVAP, provides links to an overview of the scheme, and a chronological presentation of relevant documents from 1996 – 2019.