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Legal Success for Bank Austria

Published: December 2, 2011; 16:45 · (Vindobona)

A Swiss court granted the bank’s appeal against an obligation to pay € 245m to a German public body.

Legal Success for Bank Austria / Picture: © Uni Credit Group Bank Austria

UniCredit Bank Austria scored a success in a lawsuit relating to alleged claims of BvS (formerly Treuhandanstalt), the German public body for the reconstruction of the states of former East Germany.

BvS argued that AKB Privatbank Zürich, a former subsidiary of Bank Austria, should have been aware that their customers, former East German companies, could have been assets belonging to the former socialist party of East Germany (SED) and, thus, account balances of these companies should not have been transferred to their former sole director without prior consent of BvS. Based on these allegations, BvS requested that the former account balance of approximately € 128m is paid out again.

On March 25, 2010 the Court of Appeal of Zurich ordered Bank Austria's former subsidiary – which Bank Austria is obliged to indemnify – to pay approximately € 245m (including accrued interest and costs calculated as of today). Bank Austria filed an appeal against that judgment before the Court of Cassation of the Zurich Canton and received a stay of execution.

On 30 November 2011 (decision served on 2 December 2011) the Court of Cassation granted Bank Austria's appeal, revoked the judgment for the plaintiff issued by the Court of Appeal of Zurich and remanded the case back to the Court of Appeal for reconsideration.

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