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Media Watch 2008

19 February 2008
Source: Overseas Property Professional
Author:
Comment: The following article appeared in Overseas Property Professional magazinee on 19 February 2008.
Mortgage broker pulls its N Cyprus product after complaints
"“Irish citizens considering the purchase of property in the northern part of Cyprus, which is not under the effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus, are strongly advised to seek qualified independent legal advice due to potential claims related to title and ownership from Cypriots displaced from that area in 1974, which may lead to serious financial and legal repercussions”"

""Irish-based mortgage broker Global Mortgages Direct (GMD) has withdrawn its new product for UK and Irish buyers in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) after it said it attracted unwanted media attention and complaints from Greek Cypriots.

The company, which launched the product last week, via an email to potential clients, said it was “proud to announce mortgages for Northern Cyprus for both UK and Irish citizens”, adding that “this will be the first of a series of products that we are busily working on over the next six to 12 months for Northern Cyprus”.

When asked about the possibility of upsetting Southern Cypriots, GMD’s director Mark Gannon told the Cyprus Mail that his firm was also planning to roll out a new product for buyers in the South and said that it was not his company’s concern, it was just providing a service. Gannon however did advise caution for buyers and said they must conduct their own due diligence before investing. “What we do is facilitate mortgages and ultimately it is their [buyers’] decision,” he said. “All we have done is put the product out there and we’ll see what happens.”

However, when OPP spoke to Gannon, he said that he had to pull the product after receiving several complaints from Southern Cypriots, which led the Irish ambassador to Southern Cyprus to comment on the company’s position. Speaking in the Cyprus Mirror, ambassador Tom Brady said: “Our obligation is to our citizens, to inform them about engaging in this sort of transaction.” He directed Irish investors to the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs website where they have issued guidance to buyers considering purchasing a property in the northern half of the island.

“Irish citizens considering the purchase of property in the northern part of Cyprus, which is not under the effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus, are strongly advised to seek qualified independent legal advice due to potential claims related to title and ownership from Cypriots displaced from that area in 1974, which may lead to serious financial and legal repercussions,” read the website.

Gannon said that this, and other complaints, led him to remove the product from the company’s portfolio and it would wait for an indefinite period of time before evaluating the situation.

“We have received a lot of enquiries, complaints and media attention about this product and we have decided to withdraw this from the market for the time being,” he said. “GMD is a good company and we like to remain low-key in the public’s eyes. We will hold off on offering this product for the foreseeable future.”"