Maxwell pensioners sue bank for pounds 86m

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The Independent Online
PENSIONERS of the former Maxwell publishing empire went back to court yesterday in an attempt to recover more than pounds 80m from Credit Suisse, in a trial set to last three months, writes John Willcock.

Trustees of the Mirror Group Pension Scheme and the liquidators of Bishopsgate Investment Management, the main Robert Maxwell-controlled pensions vehicle, are seeking the return of assets that the late tycoon pledged as collateral for loans to Maxwell's private companies.

The case is being heard by Mr Justice Lindsay at the High Court in the Strand, London.

The trustees are seeking a maximum of pounds 63m and the liquidators, Robson Rhodes, up to pounds 23m. They claim that Credit Suisse should have known that the assets pledged as security in July 1990 did not belong to Robert Maxwell Group, the tycoon's private business empire. The actions are legally separate but are being heard together.

Also being heard is a further claim by Bank of America against Credit Suisse for pounds 25m - the amount the San Francisco bank paid back to the Mirror Group scheme without any admission of liability in January.

Bank of America acted on Maxwell's behalf as custodian of the disputed shares and handed them on to Credit Suisse. The Swiss bank has mounted a counter-claim that if it is held liable for the pensioners, then it wants the pounds 25m back from Bank of America.