We can confirm that Monday’s gathering was an absolute success,¬†from a media point of view. Not only has the local press covered it extensively, but also all the large radio stations (Canal Sur, Onda Cero, Cope and Ser) and Canal Sur TV (you may click on the most relevant links below).
With regards to specific purpose of the gathering we must thank the Hacienda staff for facilitating the process of filing the ‚Äúdenuncias‚ÄĚ, which was done smoothly and without major problems, providing promptly an electronic sticker receipt. These denuncias will now be processed and grouped presumably under one single case, together with the more comprehensive one filed by Lawbird at the beginning of the event that included extensive tax-defrauding promotional literature (Nordea), website snapshots (now erased from them- Nykredit), instruction manuals (Rothschild), details of unregulated IFAs etc.
We now expect the Tax Office to initiate a full investigation into what is an illicit banking product that promised tax-avoidance and a regular income, but delivered tax-evasion and irreparable financial (and emotional) damage. In particular, the Tax Office would be focusing on the number of contracts signed and whether inheritors of subscribers of these products who have already passed away, would have invoked the mortgage loan charge to reduce the impact of inheritance taxes. We will be in regular touch with Tax Office to provide them any information they may require as and when the investigation is carried forward.
The next stage will now be a denuncia with Bank of Spain, also in their Malaga office. This is also a formal complaint lodge to obtain a ruling condemning these banks for not only inappropriately selling products without any consideration to the individual needs of the customers, but also for deliberately providing false tax information with a view to persuade customers to sign up the products, through scaremongering. We expect the Bank of Spain to act in accordance to EU regulations on the matter as it is this type of behaviour that undermines confidence in the financial services sector.
Note that denuncias with the Bank of Spain will also be lodged individually but grouped by banks, and will comprehend the following:
- Nature, description and purpose of the product, as was sold.
- Non-existence of regulatory clearance by the Bank of Spain to sell such product, either by the Bank of Spain or the CNMV (Financial Investment regulator).
- Non-existence of regulatory clearance to operate in Spain at all (Sydbank for example).
- Relationships established with Costa del Sol unregulated IFAs to sell the products, notwithstanding the statutory prohibition to do so.
- Deceitful selling material utilized to persuade pensioners to buy the product.
Unlike the HSBC, which was fined in the UK for gross misconduct in the selling of investment products, the focus will not be only on the inadequacy of the product, but also on the deliberate falsity in respect of the tax angle and the promised returns.
Some media appearances:
The ERVA Association