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Sunday, August 02, 2009

Correa Awarded $300,000 In Dispute With Ecuador's Bank


QUITO (Dow Jones)--A civil court in Ecuador has ordered the country's largest bank to pay $300,000 to President Rafael Correa in damages stemming from a credit card dispute.

Banco del Pichincha had reported to a credit risk bureau that Correa was in arrears from August 2001 to November 2005 for defaulting on $136.98 in credit card debt. However, Correa hadn't been a Banco del Pichincha credit card holder since 1997.

The Second Provincial Civil Court of Pichincha reached its decision against the bank on Wednesday. The court determined the amount by awarding maximum payment in such cases, $250,000, plus $50,000 to cover Correa's legal expenses, said Galo Chiriboga, Correa's lawyer and a former minister of Mines and Oil.

A lower court had awarded $5 million to Correa, but the bank appealed that decision. The new amount is "reasonable," said Chiriboga, adding that he didn't believe an appeal would be likely.

Banco Del Pichincha officials said they won't comment in the matter because they are working on a request for clarification from the court about its decision.


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