NEARLY four hundred Britons who claim they were mis-sold mortgages denominated in Swiss Francs by Alpha Bank Cyprus Ltd to buy property on the island have taken their first steps in an effort to recover their losses.
On Friday private bailiffs engaged by a Nicosia-based law firm, instructed by a group of British buyers to pursue their claims of mis-selling, served warning letters on the Alpha Bank. But unlike other groups that want their loans and contracts of sale cancelled, this group wants to renegotiate the terms of their loans with the Bank and recover their losses.
The buyers were given no option other than to take out loans denominated in Swiss Francs instead of Sterling without being notified or warned of the inherent risks associated with exchange rate fluctuations.
In their letter to the Alpha Bank their lawyers assert that this failure constitutes a breach of the Bank’s duty of care to its clients who were not in a position to understand the financial implications of taking out loans in a currency other than the currency of their income; and as a consequence, the Alpha’s clients ended up owing substantially more than if the bank had issued loans in Sterling.
The letter also highlights the fact that in the majority of cases signatures on Power of Attorney documents were not certified in accordance with the law as the Certifying Officer was absent when they were signed. As a consequence, these PoAs were illegally executed and are therefore invalid in law.
The Alpha Bank has been given 21 days to respond.
We understand that bailiffs plan to serve warning letters on other organisations in the days ahead.
Speaking to Cyprus Property News, a spokesperson for the group said “We simply desire compensation for the losses we have sustained and have our loans converted into a stable currency with minimal risks.”