Banks in court over selling of swaps
Ten people involved in property partnerships have sued Ulster Bank Ireland and First Active over the alleged mis-selling of derivative agreements or swaps to hedge “notional liabilities” for more than €65 million.
Mark Colgan, one of the 10, said he had only a “basic” knowledge of swaps but had agreed a swap for €15.5 million by phone while lunching in Davos, Switzerland, during a skiing trip in January 2008 on which he had been invited by the Ulster Bank property lending team. That swap was agreed to hedge a debt on property at Sandyford in Dublin, he said.
It is claimed the defendant institutions had not adhered to the Central Bank code of conduct for investment business in relation to how the disputed swaps were put in place. The plaintiffs are seeking to rescind the swaps and want the defendants to make good any loss or liability resulting from alleged misrepresentations.
The action was transferred to the Commercial Court yesterday by Mr Justice Peter Kelly who approved a timetable for exchange of legal documents.
The 10 plaintiffs were involved in two overlapping partnerships, the Colgan-Ryan partnership and the Oval partnership. The members of the Colgan-Ryan partnership were listed in court documents as David Colgan, Mark Colgan, Davis Colgan, Patrick Ryan, Ronan Ryan, Desmond Ryan, Deirdre Ryan and Padraic Ryan, all with an address at Sandyford Office Park, Dublin 18. They are suing over a swap instrument of June 2007, which expires next November, and another which has expired.
The members of the Oval partnership are Patrick Ryan, David Colgan, Mark Colgan and Davis Colgan, and property developers Philip Monaghan and Finian McDonnell. They are suing over a May 2007 swap, which has expired.