Bill to Encourage Banks to Waive Fees on Holocaust Reparations Signed by Gov Hochul

By Hamodia Staff

Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein speaking at the signing of the bill by Governor Hochul on Wednesday, August 10. (Office of Gov Hochul)

NEW YORK – New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill Wednesday that seeks to encourage banks to relinquish wire transfer or other processing fees for Holocaust reparation payments.

Last December, the state Department of Financial Services requested that state-chartered banks voluntarily waive wire transfer and processing fees associated with Holocaust reparations payments, and published a list of the banks that have agreed to do so. The new legislation, sponsored by Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein and state Sen. Zellnor Y. Myrie, require the Department to publish and annually update on its website a list of all banks that waive these fees.

New York City is home to an estimated 20,000 Holocaust survivors, many of whom live in poverty. Many banks charge foreign transaction or wire fees ranging from $15 to $40 per transaction.

The legislation passed the Legislature unanimously in the recently concluded session, and was signed into law Wednesday by Hochul at The Museum of Jewish heritage – A Living memorial to the Holocaust in Lower Manhattan.

“Our Holocaust survivors are a precious gift and it is incumbent upon us to assist them in any way we can,” said Eichenstein. “Our elderly survivors that have endured so much should not be charged corporate transaction fees for payments that are rightfully theirs.”

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