Filing Completed for Arbitration at the ICC

29 October 2014

Arbitration at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris in the case of FBME shareholders and the Republic of Cyprus is now underway, with the submission of FBME’s case being completed on 28 October 2014.

The request for arbitration has been made in reference to the unilateral decision of the Central Bank of Cyprus to seek to sell FBME Bank’s Cyprus branch, which the owners regard as a hostile and illegal takeover.

The arbitration invokes the Agreement on the reciprocal promotion and protection of investment between the Lebanese Republic and the Cyprus Republic of 5 June 2002 (law number 399).  Article 6 of this Agreement prohibits any nationalisation or expropriation of the assets of the citizens of either country, while article 12 provides for the ICC arbitration, among other remedies.

The imposition of Resolution measures on the Cyprus branch of FBME Bank by the Central Bank, and its announced intention to sell the branch, have opened this route to the ICC, one of the world’s foremost professional bodies for arbitration.

What the shareholders are seeking is a halt to the actions of the Central Bank and its Administrator in line with internationally recognised investment protection treaties. These actions clearly come as an obvious and unjustified infringement of this Agreement, especially in the absence of any litigation or conviction against the Bank.

FBME Bank has suffered because of the Central Bank’s actions and so have thousands of people who have been caught up in this mess through absolutely no fault of their own; contact received through this website shows this clearly. No one has benefited: the approach by the Central Bank has ignored the rights of individual account holders while being harmful to the reputation of the Republic of Cyprus as a business centre.