Strategic Asset Allocation was the pompous description coined by FINANSBANKEN A/S, taken over by Sparekassen Lolloland, to encapsulate a deceitful equity release product.

The sale of this financial sham was entrusted to a lady called Maria Tremurici-Falter, a Marbella socialite that does anything from complex financial products to charity expensive dinners or “knowing people”, and Michael (Mitch) Weisz, a mortgage broker who we cannot trace. They were both given a nice kick back of 1% of the value of the contract (at a minimum contract value of €1,000,000, not a bad day’s work!).

The below points give an idea of the monstrous set up Sparekassen Lolland came up with:

  • Sold to unsophisticated foreign pensioners mostly that had no need to prove an income to qualify.
  • Used the services of Costa financial pirates to market and sell the product.
  • Offered the generosity of 1,5 hours of advice at the Guadalpin Hotel, by Danish-based staff who flew in the day before closing; the contracts being all ready to be signed off at the local Notary office.
  • Used the services of valuers that were not regulated by the Bank of Spain, in spite of which they declared, on a public deed, that “…the valuers used are fully regulated by the Spanish authorities to carry out valuations for the lending market”.
  • Flouted the laws applicable to investment products: lack of compliance with regulations pertaining to obligatory registration of prospectuses, informative triptych and contract with the CNMV.
  • Indicated that 8% return was not an unreasonable return…when the product was taken out.
  • And of course, were cleverer than the rest of Spanish banks by offering an “original” tax-dodging financial product that would alleviate the burden of horrible Spanish Inheritance Taxes.

Article 27 of the Unfair Competition Act (Ley 3/1991 de Competencia Desleal) states that:

 “…practices that convey inexact or false information in respect of the nature or size of the danger that a user or consumer or his/her family would be faced with, should he not take out the service or product, are equally deceitful, and will be deemed illicit”

Is this not what all these banks came up with?