Antrim developer begins test negligence action against Ulster Bank

Further such writs pending on both sides of Border, says solicitor

Chris  Gordon and his development company Orianna Investments Ltd are suing Ulster Bank and the aligned Royal Bank of Scotland. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Chris Gordon and his development company Orianna Investments Ltd are suing Ulster Bank and the aligned Royal Bank of Scotland. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

A Co Antrim property developer who claims he lost more than £1 million (€1.13 million) during the recession has begun a High Court action against the Ulster Bank.

Chris Gordon alleges fraudulent misrepresentation and negligence around the provision of financial services and banking arrangements over a number of years.

Mr Gordon, who also operates as an estate agent, is seeking damages over the handling of his business dealings.

He has brought a test case which could lead to further writs being issued by others caught up in disputes with banks after the financial crash in 2008.

Following a brief hearing on Friday, proceedings were adjourned for a further review in four weeks.

Mr Gordon and his development company Orianna Investments Ltd are suing Ulster Bank and the aligned Royal Bank of Scotland.

The case relates to loans for a number of properties in the Portrush, Co Antrim area.

His lawyers allege that he lost a “seven-figure sum” after being put into a Global Restructuring Group (GRG) which managed exposures and concerns about an account holder’s ability to service loans.

Reviving businesses

Solicitor Kevin Winters of KRW Law said his client was told entry into this agency was aimed at reviving businesses after the banking collapse.

Instead, he claims, the banks put him into an interest rate swap on his loans which effectively “sounded the death knell to his business and other property transactions”.

Mr Winters said: “These are serious allegations of fraud.

“The banks wanted to re-capitalise themselves on the back of a worldwide economic downturn, and they did so at the expense of thousands of people throughout Ireland.”

He confirmed that Mr Gordon’s case is a lead action, with further writs pending on both sides of the Border.

“It’s the first time dozens of alleged banking victims have come forward as a unified, galvanised group,” the lawyer added.

“They will agitate on not only the systemic financial destruction of their businesses, but also to highlight the terrible statistic that hundreds of men ended up taking their own lives.”