Cyprus property deals challenged in the UK

A long-standing dispute over the mortgages sold to British buyers of property in Cyprus has been brought before the UK courts in recent weeks, with lawyers acting on behalf of the plaintiffs claiming that they should benefit from EU law protecting consumers.

Thousands of investors claim that they were mis-sold mortgages in Swiss francs in Cyprus, as well as that they were required to improperly sign power of attorney documents in order to have the loan agreements completed.

In a move concerning more than 200 of those cases, Maxwell Alves Solicitors have filed a class action suit in Britain against Alpha Bank Cyprus, the lender that issued the disputed mortgages and 24 property developers in the island. A previous similar action concerning jurisdiction brought forward in the UK by another London-based law firm was initially vindicated, but an appeal is pending.

George Kounis, a solicitor with Maxwell Alves, expressed his confidence that his clients will be granted UK jurisdiction. “There is the issue of cross-border selling that is relevant to these cases, we have the mis-selling part of the story which has been highlighted recently in European countries and also the Swiss franc aspect of the mortgages, which has prompted similar legal cases in European countries such as Croatia and Hungary,” he told IBNA.

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(Photo: EUCyprus)