June 26, 2011 / 3:52 PM / 8 years ago

Pensioner to challenge Bank of Ireland in court

LONDON, June 26 (Reuters) - British pensioner Albert Kempster will take on Bank of Ireland in court this month to prevent his savings from being wiped out by the Irish bank’s debt restructuring.

Kempster, 73, is being advised by law firm Brown Rudnick and public relations company Fishburn Hedges.

Fishburn Hedges said on Sunday that Kempster’s court hearing would take place in the High Court on Wednesday, June 29.

Kempster is one of more than 2,000 retail investors who own permanent interest bearing shares (Pibs). Bank of Ireland wants to force them to sell at just 20 percent of their cover value.

Kempster initially bought those shares, which carry an interest rate of 13.75 percent, from British savings company Bristol & West. Much of his savings are tied up in those assets.

However, Bristol & West was acquired by Bank of Ireland in 1997, and the crisis-hit Irish lender is now trying to buy those legacy shares back at a fraction of their face value as it restructures its shattered balance sheet.

“Mr Kempster is claiming that the terms offered by Bank of Ireland are unfair to retail investors,” said a statement issued on his behalf by Fishburn Hedges.

A ruling on the court case is expected by the end of June.

Bank of Ireland declined to comment on the matter. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by David Hulmes)

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