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Thursday 9th July 2020
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Robbed by property fraud

EARLIER this month, Andrew Stunell MP raised a question in the House of Commons on behalf of one of his constituents:

“My constituent Mr Percival is one of many who have been robbed by property fraud in Cyprus following the default of the Alpha bank.

“Will a Minister meet me to discuss with the Greek and Cypriot authorities what might be done to rectify this disgrace?”

Replying to Mr Stunell, Minister for Europe David Lidington said:

“Ministers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and our high commissioner in Cyprus regularly raise property issues with the Cypriot authorities.

“I have made a commitment to meet members of the all-party group on the defence of the interests of British property owners in Cyprus to discuss the particular case to which my right hon. Friend has referred and the broader issues.

“I would be very happy to talk to him in that context.”

We await further developments.

Further reading

Source: House of Commons Hansard Debates

About Andrew Stunell MP

Andrew-Stunell-MPAwarded an OBE in 1993, Andrew Stunell was first elected as the Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for the Hazel Grove constituency in Greater Manchester in 1997.

In 2010 he was appointed as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for Communities and Local Government.


  1. Give a thought to all those unfortunate clients who have monies sitting in lawyers’ client accounts in Cyprus – this could be yet another minefield!

  2. A dangerous move I would have thought Nigel. Where next?

    No doubt those who can ill afford to lose even 10 euros will suffer most.

    Regrettably Nigel I am unable to transfer funds to assist with the suit as I am already locked out of electronic banking so I believe this wee scam was agreed some time ago to take place over a long weekend.

  3. @andyp – Yes – I read about this – depositors with over €100,000 in Cypriot banks are to lose 9.9% and those under €100,000 are to lose 6.75%. They’re also imposing a “withholding tax” on interest earned and increasing corporate tax to 12.5%.

    According to Reuters news agency, almost half of the depositors in Cyprus are believed to be non-resident Russians – so there may be some reaction from the Russian Government in the coming days.

    It’s been reported that the banks have put a block on sending money out of the country, but you can still withdraw cash (I withdrew €200 this morning from a cash machine).

    Monday is a public holiday here (Green Monday) – so we’re not going to see much happening before Tuesday.

    The move will certainly erode investor confidence and will put further downward pressure on property prices.

    We could all club together and sue the ‘usual suspect’ who is responsible for getting us into this mess!

  4. I am puzzled at the MP’s reference to “…the default of the Alpha Bank”.

    Although Business Insider states that Alpha Bank has a 50.9% Cumulative Probability of Default (slightly worse than tossing a coin and hoping for ‘heads’); I haven’t heard of an actual default.

  5. @Geo – you may find a clue in the article itself :-)

    Some Trivia – while researching this article I discovered that Andrew Stunell and I went to the same school.

  6. “robbed by property fraud” ? That covers a significant number of possibilities. Any clues as to which particular practice this refers to?

  7. @Peter – The British High Commission does not get involved with individual cases regarding property, but I know from conversations I’ve had with them that the subject is frequently discussed with the Cypriot authorities.

  8. Strange. When I wrote to the British High Commission in 2004 for help I was told that the British High Commission didn’t get involved in property matters in Cyprus.

  9. The fact that property issues are regularly raised must indicate the scale of the problem so why don’t they just deal with the situation instead of allowing it to fester year upon year?

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