Banks, credit unions urged to waive fees for Holocaust compensation – American Banker

Posted By on December 24, 2021

The New York State Department of Financial Services is calling on state-chartered financial institutions to voluntarily waive wire transfer and processing fees for Holocaust reparations recipients if they dont already do so.

The agency estimated that over 20,000 Holocaust survivors currently live in just the New York metro area and that about a third of them live in poverty. The department said it was not uncommon for Holocaust survivors and their heirs to be charged between $15 and $40 per transaction.

These fees impose a significant burden on elderly Holocaust survivors, victims and heirs who often rely on these payments to meet their everyday needs, acting Superintendent Adrienne Harris said in a press release. Waiving these fees sends a powerful message on the willingness of New Yorks financial community to have a meaningful impact on the lives of the people they serve.

In a letter Wednesday to state-regulated banks and credit unions, Harris said that less than 5% of them had previously elected to waive fees associated with those payments. The department said it intended to eventually publish on its website a list of banks that voluntarily waive fees associated with Holocaust reparations.

The department also recommended that financial institutions work with the Holocaust Claims Processing Office, a state agency created to advocate for Holocaust survivors and their heirs. Among other things, the office provides free assistance to survivors and their families who are looking to recover stolen money deposited into bank accounts, unpaid insurance policy benefits and artwork that was lost, stolen or sold under duress during the Holocaust.

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Banks, credit unions urged to waive fees for Holocaust compensation - American Banker

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