You are here: Home - Investing -

Settlements reached for UK victims of Cypriot mortgage mis-selling

Written by:
Numerous claims brought by UK victims of alleged property and mortgage mis-selling in Cyprus have been settled.

Thousands of British investors, who purchased flats and villas in Cyprus before the financial crash, have brought mis-selling cases against Alpha Bank Cyprus and more than 20 Cypriot property developers, agents and lawyers.

They say they were advised to buy property with Swiss franc mortgages because of their low and supposedly stable interest rates.

However, following the collapse of the Cypriot property market, property values plummeted and repayments rocketed when the franc soared, leaving investors with “unsaleable and unlettable” properties, large loan obligations and huge negative equity, their lawyers claim.

Victims say they were also subject to heavy sales tactics and received no advice about the risk of interest rates increasing.

The case was due to be heard this week in the High Court in London but early settlement was reached on 6 June.

Duncan McNair, a lawyer at Cubism Law in London, who is instructed by around 100 UK victims, said the settlement could “significantly alter the landscape for all victims”.

He said: “We have been battling hard to ensure justice for victims of unconscionable conduct by Cypriot banks, developers, their sales agents and lawyers. This settlement of an early batch of claims on terms acceptable to victims helps us build on the position we have achieved to date for our clients.

“The Cypriot banks are concerned to avoid adverse findings (for them) that the English courts should have jurisdiction to hear claims of mis-selling of properties and loans. They have argued that the claims should be heard in Cyprus, where regrettably the Court system is characterised by delay, uncertainty and a good deal of unreliability.”

McNair, whose firm has been able to engage various Cypriot banks in settlement negotiations, said it is essential victims issue proceedings in England promptly to prevent them from being sued first in Cyprus by the banks.

Offering advice to other potential mis-selling victims, McNair said: “Act fast to instruct specialist solicitors familiar with both the English and Cypriot legal systems, who have experience of formulating the correct claims and of dealing with these defendants and who will be taken seriously by them.

“Beware unqualified claims handlers whose terms of engagement are obscure and whose interests in the matter can be unclear. Beware also ‘offers’ from banks which never in fact materialise. Above all, don’t delay: numerous victims of non-performing loans are being sued in Cyprus, and judgments obtained there can be, and are, vigorously enforced by banks against victims’ UK assets.”

“It can often be helpful to build groups of claimants, to pool information, to present a united stand and to operate at a fraction of the cost. But cases differ and thought must always be given to this approach: occasionally victims may best be advised that their claims should be issued individually”.

Related Posts

Tag Box

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Your right to a refund if travel is affected by train strikes

There have been a wave of train strikes in the past six months, and for anyone travelling today Friday 3 Febru...

Could you save money with a social broadband tariff?

Two-thirds of low-income households are unaware they could be saving on broadband, according to Uswitch.

How to help others and donate to food banks this winter

This winter is expected to be the most challenging yet for the food bank network as soaring costs push more pe...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week