Antis Triantafyllides & Sons represents CySEC in a case concerning the obligations of individuals in positions of responsibility
Our firm recently represented the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (“CySEC”) in a significant court case before the Supreme Court of Cyprus, involving the then Chief Financial Officer of the Marfin Popular Bank Public Co Limited (an entity currently under liquidation). On 10 May 2023, the Supreme Court upheld CySEC’s decision to impose a substantial fine of EUR 100,000 on the aforementioned Chief Financial Officer, for violations relating to the dissemination of misleading information, under section 40(1) of The Transparency Requirements (Securities Admitted to Trading on a Regulated Market) Law (No. 190(I)/2007) and section 20(4) of the Law providing for the conditions for making an offer to the public of securities, on the prospectus to be published when securities are offered to the public (No. 114(I)/2005). The appeal challenging the first instance court decision upholding the fine was therefore dismissed.
The Supreme Court addressed an important argument raised by the appellant regarding her role as the Chief Financial Officer. Specifically, she contended that her responsibilities did not encompass the risks associated with Greek government bonds. However, the Court refuted this claim, highlighting that the appellant’s position contradicts the provisions of the law, particularly section 20(4) of Law No. 114(I)/2005. The Court emphasised that, by signing the prospectus, the appellant was obligated to study its content and be fully aware of its implications before endorsing it. Failing to do so was not a mere formality but constituted an assumption of responsibility for its content.
The Supreme Court highlighted that interpreting the role of the Chief Financial Officer in endorsing the prospectus as exempting the Chief Financial Officer from any liability contradicts the legislative intent. Such an interpretation would weaken the comprehensive framework established by the law, which seeks to guarantee the accuracy of information and safeguard investors’ interests.
Additionally, the Supreme Court observed that the careless signing by individuals who ought to possess knowledge of investment risks resulted in negative outcomes, generating disorder. This ruling emphasises the significance of ensuring that individuals in positions of responsibility comprehend their obligations fully and that they diligently fulfil their roles.
CySEC represented before the Supreme Court by Riana Pasiourtidi, on behalf of our firm.