|By Arabain Post Staff| Bank Sarasin-Alpen Middle East Limited, defending the region’s biggest financial mis-selling case has lost the first appeals against the record judgement of $70 million penalty awarded by the Court of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
Bank Sarasin and its DIFC subsidiary Sarasin-Alpin had filed an appeal against the liability finding which led to record damages being awarded against them. The liability appeal was heard by the DIFC Court of Appeal in September 2015 with the judgement issued on 3 March 2016.
In November 2015 the DIFC Court determined that the two banks should pay the Al Khorafi family more than US $70 million to cover financial losses resulting from the sale of US $200 million structured investment products between late 2007 and early 2008. Bank J. Safra Sarasin immediately paid its share of the damages into court pending the hearing of its appeal against the award of damages.
However, Bank Sarasin-Alpen (ME) Limited did not pay its share and sought a stay of the order to pay the damages which was denied on 18 January 2016. Bank Sarasin-Alpen (ME) Limited was ordered to make a similar payment into Court by 1 February 2016 which it failed to do.
This latest development in a long-running legal battle between a wealthy Kuwaiti businessman and the notoriously secretive private investment banking has now come to an end with this appeal decision. It is a historic one for Dubai and the DIFC, where precedent has been created, as well as a case that sparked the interest of the global banking industry.
The claimant will still seek to enforce the next steps in securing the remaining sum from Bank Sarasin-Alpen Middle East Limited, through the DIFC Courts.
Commenting on the Court’s decision Mr Rafed Al Khorafi said, “Justice has been served in a systematic and procedural manner by the justices of the DIFC Courts. It has been a lengthy battle and I am glad to see that the case will serve as a precedent for all investors and banks to abide strictly by the code of the DFSA in all their future dealings. Dubai has always been a safe haven for investors and this case proves that.”