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Case Details

Case Details
National ID Court of Appeal, Judgement 23/2018
Member State Malta
Common Name Gravino Anthony et vs La Valette Funds SICAL p.l.c. et
Decision type Other
Decision date 16/12/2019
Court Court of Appeal
Keywords age, unfair commercial practices, B2C, financial services

Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, Chapter 2, Article 5


Aside from insisting that the terms in the contract are unfair, the plaintiffs also claimed that since the Bank did not take into account that they were of an advanced age, it engaged in an unfair commercial practice that distorted their economic behaviour. However, even though the plaintiffs were clients of the appellant bank, the former sold their shares in the Fund and, for this reason, could not be considered as consumers following the sale.

The plaintiff consumers, who were of an advanced age, were shareholders in a Fund and brought a claim against the Bank controlling the Fund arguing that the Bank invested in investments negligently which resulted in a loss in the value of their shares. The plaintiffs were then approached by the Bank with a choice to have their shares bought back by the Bank at a lower price. The issue was first raised with the Arbiter for Financial Services, who found for the consumers. The defendant Bank appealed stating that an agreement was entered into between the parties for the sale of their shares.

Given that the plaintiffs could not be considered as consumers, the Court could not assess whether the Bank engaged in an unfair commercial practice.

The Court considered that once the plaintiffs accepted that offer, they could no longer be considered consumers. Therefore, they could not base their claim on the defendant engaging in unfair commercial practices which materially distorted their economic behaviour.

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The Court annulled the decision of the Arbiter for Financial Services and found for the defendants.