OPT Bank announced on Thursday that the US Court of Appeals for Chicago granted the petition submitted by OTP Bank and ordered the district court to dismiss the plaintiffs' claims against OTP Bank for lack of personal jurisdiction in the class action brought by "Holocaust Victims of Bank Theft" against, among other defendants, OTP Bank.
OTP Bank maintains that the plaintiffs' claim against it has been unfounded in its entirety, the announcement concluded.
According to the plaintiffs, the National Bank of Hungary, the Erste Group Bank, the MKB Bayerische Landesbank, OTP Bank and Creditanstalt or their predecessors participated in the Holocaust by appropriating the funds held in the accounts of victims, as well as jewellery, art objects and securities stored in their security safes.
In the litigation started in 2010, the plaintiffs sued banks in Hungary before the US District Court for Northern District of Illinois on behalf of an alleged class of "at least 600,000 persons" and asked for a compensation in the amount of "USD 2 billion plus interest compounded annually since 1944," and in addition that punitive damages be awarded, because they alleged Holocaust victims' financial and other possessions held in banks in Hungary have never been redeemed.
In its petition for dismissal in August, 2010, OTP Bank categorically denied liability on the merit, recalling that it was established on November 11, 1991 and its legal predecessor, Országos Takarékpénztár N.V., was set up with no legal predecessor on March 1, 1949, and the conduct alleged in the plaintiffs' complaint took place in 1944.