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End of year deadline looms for property owners to register claims against Cypriot banks, developers and lenders

Duncan McNair
Cubism Law, London
0207 831 0101

End of year deadline looms for property owners to register claims against Cypriot banks, developers and lenders

Over recent years almost 15,000 UK residents have succumbed to glossy advertising and sales talk, buying Cypriot properties off plan. Large loans have been eagerly provided by Cypriot banks at the peak of the market, frequently in Swiss Francs for their low and supposedly stable interest rates, against overvalued properties, often never adequately built out. Now, with the Swiss Franc’s strengthened value and relentless interest rate hikes, investors are paying a heavy price: unsaleable and unlettable apartments, enormous loan obligations and huge negative equity, all aggravated by the Cyprus property crash.

Duncan McNair, a lawyer from Cubism Law specialising in cases brought by victims of such mis-selling in Cyprus, says:

“Commonplace features are a failure to advise on the risks of foreign currency mortgages, serious misrepresentations as to the property itself and dubious powers of attorney, as are unhealthily close relationships between the banks, developers and selling agents. They have profiteered like Croesus, and like him they must face the consequences.”

The stakes could hardly be higher. With nearly €2 billion of lending to UK nationals on their books, of which an estimated two thirds is non-performing, the Cypriot banks are under pressure, intensified by claims such as those brought by Mr McNair’s clients.

But a new though little known Cypriot law requires claims to be filed in Cyprus by 31 December 2013 or they are likely to fail outright.

Mr McNair advises British purchasers involved in such cases to take immediate action:

“Instruct an experienced English lawyer familiar with the situation to immediately file protective claims, first in England (to assert your preference to be heard in the English courts whose integrity even Cypriots prefer to their own courts); and then file a claim in Cyprus too. These claims must be filed in time and in the proper form. Build a group with others to share key information, to cut costs and to present a strong united stand to the banks when they are held to account at the negotiating table. Use a lawyer the opponent banks will take seriously. Beware unqualified claims handlers whose strategy, remuneration and basis of acting can be unclear.”

Finally, Mr McNair adds:

“Beware the ‘offer’ that is here today but will not materialise after the Cypriot deadline has passed. Victims who take no steps risk an adverse judgment in Cyprus which exposes their Cyprus and UK assets to enforcement by the bank.”


This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Cubism Law in the following categories: Home & Garden, Personal Finance, Construction & Property, for more information visit