9,500 claims filed so far on dormant Swiss funds

Another 6,000 queries have been made for accounts that did not appear on the published lists.

The panel met on Friday of last week in New York.

"Undoubtedly, we will come up with many more accounts. At the end of the day, they will be published," said Paul Volcker, the panel's chairman and former head of the U.S. Federal Reserve. "This whole process, in the terms of sheer numbers, over the course of time is bound to be expanded."

Volcker expects to resign soon because the claims process is under way. He was named two years ago to oversee an audit of Swiss Holocaust-era accounts, under an agreement by the World Jewish Congress and the Swiss Bankers Association.

The panel, known as the Volcker Committee, is the only authoritative body determining the actual ownership of war-time accounts in Swiss banks.

The claims have come in 20 languages from 27 countries. About 20 percent of the claims are from the United States, 12 percent from Germany, 12 percent from France, 9 percent from Israel, and 6 percent from Argentina.

"The process is complicated and efforts are being made to speed it up," Volcker said. "I think it's unusual by normal arbitration standards, and standards of proof have been much relaxed."

Some of the accounts are expected to belong to those who looted from the Jews, and the panel made clear that those funds would not be turned over to the looters or their heirs.

The two major Swiss banks, Credit Suisse and UBS, agreed last month to pay $1.25 billion to settle class-actions lawsuits against them for hoarding Jewish Holocaust-era accounts. In turn, the World Jewish Congress and lawyers representing survivors agreed to forgo all future claims against the banks, the Swiss National Bank and Switzerland. The settlement is not yet final, and no system is in place yet for the distribution of the money.