RECENT proposals by Maxwell Alves, Solicitors in the City of London, representing a number of victims of mis-selling, have been accelerated in view of the crisis in Cyprus and in anticipation of what may happen.
Under these proposals the British Government will arrange for a line of credit to British victims of mis-selling which will allow lump sum settlements to be reached with the Cypriot Banks involved. It will also allow certain other terms to be imposed to resolve cases which are not purely a loan dispute.
Maxwell Alves has long been lobbying politicians and government agencies and negotiating on behalf of their clients with the Banks and property developers in an effort to resolve these claims without resorting to litigation.
“These matters are just too complicated to resolve by court action without tears for both sides,” explains George Kounis the Consultant at Maxwell Alves leading on these cases “but without a facility to motivate the banks to settle the next step in a lot of these cases is litigation”.
In a recently published White Paper and Addendum following the crisis, he reports on the progress of these discussions and the proposed British rescue. The proposal uses the draft Heads of Agreement recently submitted to Alpha Bank Cyprus, after a meeting between George Kounis and the Managing Director of the Bank, as the basis of reaching a settlement.
“There can be no blanket agreement,” explains George Kounis. “Each case is different and has to be negotiated separately within the framework of the Heads of Agreement”. The same proposals were also discussed with the other banks involved.
The crisis in Cyprus will necessarily mean that banks will no longer have the luxury to wait for their money. In any event, Maxwell Alves believe that the requirement to clear Non-Performing Loans within 18 months will almost certainly be a term of the Troika bailout.
“We are expecting a cull,” says George Kounis “and although Banks will be committing suicide by getting stuck in court battles for years, we still need to protect our clients and try to lift them out of what is likely to become a war zone”.
For this reason Maxwell Alves are actively seeking the involvement of the British Government and the engagement of the Cypriot Government which will lead to a full and final resolution of the mis-selling saga and may release more than €1 billion to cash-strapped Cypriot banks.
Accordingly, as soon as the crisis struck, George Kounis met Bill Cash MP who is co-ordinating an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the “Defence of the Interests of British Property Owners in Cyprus” with a view of promoting a rescue by the British Government and agreed to submit proposals for a British rescue. These have now been submitted.
“We estimate that there are up to 10,000 British victims of Cyprus property mis-selling but only a small proportion of them have made their voices heard and are represented,” commented George Kounis.
These victims are urged to come forward and contact their MP if they are residents in the UK and ensure that their MPs are indeed members of the APPG and that they fully support the proposals submitted by Maxwell Alves. If they are non-UK residents they should contact the local British Consul General who can in turn communicate their views through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.