Cyprus Mail

Swiss-franc borrower tries to return his house keys to BoC

A 35-year-old man who could not service a loan he took out in Swiss francs to buy a flat sought to hand over the keys to the Bank of Cyprus also asking for the money he paid so far to be returned.

Engineer Nicos Hadjiyiannis said he has so far paid €60,000 for a €105,000 loan he took out in 2006.

But after the Swiss National Bank’s decision in January to scrap a cap in the exchange rate of the country’s currency towards the euro led to a sharp revaluation of the Swiss franc, Hadjiyiannis could not longer service his loan.

He said he now owed the bank €200,000 and his monthly instalment rose to €900 from €400.

“Banks were insured against changes to the rate. They got their money from the insurance companies but we pay triple instalments to help them because of their mismanagement,” he said.

The 35-year-old said he was now moving back to his father’s house.

According to Green party MP Giorgos Perdikis, who accompanied Hadjiyiannis, the bank said even if they agreed to take the flat back, it would be at a much lower price.

“The solution they have us was for him to come with a restructuring plan or go to court,” Perdikis said.

During the meeting, around 100 people assembled outside the bank in solidarity.


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