Cyprus Mail

Former BoC shareholders group urges members to file lawsuits

The association of old Bank of Cyprus (BoC) shareholders who had been wiped out when during the lender’s recapitalisation through the conversion of uninsured deposits in March 2013, has urged all its members to take part in lawsuits seeking compensation.

Speaking at the association’s general meeting, deputy chairman Elefterios Ioannou said they were no closer to a solution with BoC and he urged shareholders who did not participate in previous actions to “take part in the new wave of lawsuits” that will be filed imminently.

Members heard that 200 suits were pending before the European Communities Court and another 283 before the Nicosia district court.

The association said it intended to have a general assembly just a few days before the presidential elections in 2018 where members will hand in their voting booklets in a bid to put pressure on politicians.

In a speech, the association’s chairman, Archbishop Chrysostomos, said nothing was easy if you didn’t go after it.

Delivered by his representative, Demos Demou, Chrysostomos said it was time the state did something to mitigate the problems created by the bail-in.

The Church was a major shareholder in BoC.

“In previous meetings we stressed the difficulties to restore the losses caused by international organisations in cooperation with our state,” he said. “The European Central Bank, the European Commission, and the Eurogroup hide behind the Cypriot government and claim that we did not put measures in place.”

The archbishop said the crisis was beginning to abate “and it is time our state sees how to mitigate the problems created by the March 2013 measures.”

He said the association would continue to try and convince those who can help, on one hand, and also seek redress through the courts.

In September, the European Court of Justice upheld a previous judgement that dismissed actions calling for the annulment of a March 2013 decision to seize bank deposits as part of Cyprus’ bailout agreement.

The case before the ECJ concerned a challenge brought by a number of depositors against the decisions leading to the March 2013 bail-in.

The plaintiffs brought actions before the General Court, asking for an order requiring the Commission and the ECB to pay them compensation equivalent to the reduction in value of their deposits allegedly suffered on account of the adoption of the bailout memorandum of understanding and for the annulment of the relevant paragraphs of that memorandum.

Also, seven Cypriot individuals brought actions before the General Court for annulment of the Eurogroup statement of March 25, 2013 concerning the restructuring of the Cypriot banking sector.

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