THE ADMINISTRATIVE Court has revoked a fine of €250,000 imposed by the Cyprus Consumer and Protection Service (CCPS) on Alpha Bank Cyprus for its business practices relating to loan contracts.
The court’s decision will cause anger, dismay and mis-trust of the Cyprus judicial system among homebuyers who allege their Swiss Franc loans were mis-sold by the bank.
In December 2015 the CCPS found Alpha Bank Cyprus culpable of dealing unfairly with two of its clients in relation to a loan that was converted to Swiss francs without their knowledge.
At that time DISY MP Zacharias Zachariou, who chairs the House Commerce Committee, said the decision was a tool that could be used by the plaintiff in a court. Zachariou spoke of a “landmark decision” that would have ramifications for all banks engaging in unfair practices.
In October 2016 the CCPS imposed an administrative fine of €250,000 on the bank, ordered it to discontinue the breach caused by using those unfair terms in its contracts and refrain from using those terms in the future.
This decision was also seen as a “landmark decision”.
The CCPS contended that the fine was calculated on the financial statements of the bank years 2007 and 2015. However, in this latest turn of events, Alpha Bank Cyprus appealed the CCPS’ decision on various grounds and succeeded in annulling it.