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Friday, June 5, 2020
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Angry buyers sue over Cyprus homes

Cyprus home buyers sue Alpha BankHUNDREDS of British savers are suing Greece’s second biggest bank and a Cypriot developer over an alleged property scam in which they claim to have lost £20m.

Almost 800 people are taking High Court action against Alpha Bank, based in Athens, and Alpha Panareti, run by the entrepreneur Andreas Ioannou.

They are also suing several financial advisers, including Marcus James Overseas Property, based in Essex, and Roseberry Overseas Property, formerly run by Andrew Laird, a financial adviser.

Thousands of Britons bought properties in European resorts during the boom years as buy-to-let investments or for retirement.

Court papers claim that between 2005 and 2010, Alpha Bank and loannou conspired with a string of salesmen to mis-sell apartments in Cyprus to vulnerable savers, predominantly in northeast England. As many as 2,000 were persuaded to give Cypriot solicitors power of attorney to arrange 25-year mortgages with low interest rates.

Instead, it is alleged that forged documents were used to tie them in for bigger mortgages than they could afford, often over periods as short as 53 years. Most of the apartments were never built and did not have the licences needed for holiday rentals.

The case is led by Katherine Alexander-Theodotou, senior partner at the law firm Highgate Hill, who said two clients had committed suicide because of the stress.

She said: “large number of people were induced by misrepresentation to buy properties off-plan in Cyprus, and instead of getting a good investment they lost all their money.”

In November a High Court judge ruled that the claim against Alpha Panareti should be heard in London rather than Cyprus. A similar hearing for Alpha Bank is due in February. The linked cases could come to trial in October.

Alpha Bank declined to comment but it plans to fight the claim vigorously. Alpha Panareti did not respond to requests for comment but it is understood the company and loannou reject the claims.

Angry buyers sue over Cyprus homes

9 COMMENTS

  1. Excellent news that this is happening, good luck to all involved.

    Is the case led by Hughgate Hill against Alpha Bank and Panareti also against the financial advisers? I certainly hope so because so far mine, Marcus James have offered virtually no useful assistance whatsoever to help people escape the plights that THEY have put innocent people in. Marcus James and other agents should be made to pay compensation instead of being allowed to shirk their responsibilities and blame others for their negligence.

  2. @Andrew – No-one has been sued – yet.

    The High Court case in the summer gave this particular set of claimants the right to have the cases heard in the UK.

    The products supplied by these FSA regulated companies were not themselves regulated, which reveals a big hole in the way the Financial Services Authority operates.

    There’s a 3-page article in the current issue of the OPP Magazine about various issues with the FSA (pages 9-11) – plus a letter from me on page 28.

  3. I understand that a number of UK financial advisers including Marcus James Overseas Property and Roseberry Overseas were sued too, right?

    Does this make the UK Financial Services industry a rogue place too? I think not …

    Generalisations are bad.

  4. And they arn’t the only ones, there are around another 1200 with different companies and I understand Cyprus is now subject to eu laws.

  5. Even if the Complainants eventually obtain judgement in their favour, that is not the end of the matter. The judgement has to be enforced and unfortunately enforcement proceedings are notoriously difficult to carry out.

    Noting the character of the Defendants in this case, it is highly unlikely that either will meekly hand over millions of euros in compensation. Therefore the action would, if successful, ultimately necessitate the seizing of assets with all the opportunities of evasion that process affords.

  6. There is no justice in Cyprus, they can not even park their cars correctly which does have legal ramifications whether they know it a or not, but who cares, one phone call and there is no parking problem etc etc etc etc.

    The subconscious mind of the locals is this: Britain, Turkey, Venetians, Arabs, Byzantines, Romans, Persians, Egyptians and Achaens all conquered and ruled Cyprus. Empires and counties with great civilizations all came to and all left Cyprus. So one day, all us nobodies of totally no relevance and lacking any significant power will all leave Cyprus. So why should they worry about a few mortgages and hecklers? They do not!

  7. My understanding is that a joint action cannot be started in Cyprus but is it possible for the expats to contributed towards costs?

    I most certainly would donate €100 towards the costs to help these people, and I can’t be alone.

    If a bank accounts was set up Possibly at one of the other banks in Cyprus?

  8. Good luck to you all. They can’t be allowed to keep getting away with it. Unfortunately there are still those of us who are victims of the breach of the unfare commercial practices regulation who bought to live in Cyprus, but are unable to pay our ever increasing swiss franc mortgages and have been forced to leave Cyprus and go elsewhere for work and just do not have the money left for such well deserved but expensive legal cases. What can we do? I hope you all win and Cyprus is made accountable for its thieving !

  9. Good luck to all.

    Having been a victim of a forged property contract you will get no justice in Cyprus.

    The Cyprus Bar Association found my advocate guilty but “in light of her sterling service to the law” (previously jailed and then pardoned by Toff) they fined her 1000 euros.

    What lawyer that has ever been found guilty of such an offence has not been struck off?

    I would really like to know.

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