Search for assets
Those who believe they may be entitled to assets deposited at a bank in Switzerland have always had the option of contacting the bank in question or individual banks directly. Moreover, since 1996, guidelines of the Swiss Bankers Association have made it possible to undertake a centralised search for dormant assets, via the Swiss Banking Ombudsman’s office. In addition, assets that have been dormant for a long time are being published online since December 2015, so that entitled parties might learn of the existence of these assets and claim them before they are to be turned over to the state.
Client relationships that were closed by authorized persons or because there was an insufficient balance are not considered dormant assets or assets without contact and therefore cannot be located through a centralised search. Thus, closed client relationships are not subject to the publication.
Additional information of a general nature on assets without contact and dormant assets is available on the website of the Swiss Bankers Association.
Three options in searching for an account
1. If you believe yourself to be entitled to assets deposited at a bank known to you, it is recommended that you contact the bank directly.
2. If you believe yourself to be entitled to assets deposited at a bank, but don’t know at which bank, one option is to conduct a search via the Swiss Banking Ombudsman’s office. According to the guidelines on the treatment of assets without contact and dormant assets held at Swiss banks, all banks in Switzerland must report their assets without contact and dormant assets to a central database. The Central claims office connected to the Swiss Banking Ombudsman can query this centralised database for entitled persons.
3. If you believe yourself to be entitled to assets on the publication list, you can submit your claim directly on the publication platform on the Internet. Your submission will be forwarded electronically to the bank concerned. The Banking Ombudsman serves as the office you may turn to if you have questions or need support.
What to do?
1. I know the bank: proceed to contact the bank directly.
2. I believe there might be assets, but I don’t know at which bank and would like to conduct a centralised search: proceed to centralised search.
3. I am interested in the publication of long-term dormant assets: proceed to the publication.