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First instance court rules in favor of borrowers with Swiss franc-linked loans

A three-justice first instance court in Athens recently ruled in favor of plaintiffs who had borrowed from domestic lenders in denominations and rates linked with the Swiss franc and ended up with soaring debts in the wake of the franc’s steep appreciation vis-a-vis the euro.

The court ruling — which is expected to be contested at the appellate level — essentially restores the loans’ conditions to the relevant exchange rate in effect at the time of the disbursement.

Plaintiffs in the class action-like lawsuit included several consumers’ groups, including one officially chartered as the Group of Borrowers in Swiss Francs.

The issue reportedly affects between 65,000 and 70,000 Greek borrowers, who received such franc-linked loans from local banks between 2006 and 2009.