Archives for February, 2013

Limitation of Liability Clause Used by Banks

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Most of the banks are using the “limitation of liability” clause to argue that, whilst “every endeavour has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provide, we cannot take any responsibility for losses sustained as a result of relying total or partially on it”.

This dishonest clause, an indipensable tool in the sales kit of any dishonest business operator worth his salt, was for example used by Nordea Bank Luxembourg S.A. to say that although loads of tax advice was given, they can never be held responsible for it.

But then, article 130 of the Consumer Protection Act states the following:

Inefficacy of limitation or exoneration of liability clauses: clauses limiting or exonerating from responsibility in respect of instances of civil responsibility under this Act are not applicable and thus, inefficacious.

See what NORDEA says about their booklet:

inheritance – the available possibilities of ensuring that your descendants prosper;

And also: 

life assurance may be the optimal way to mitigate the impact of inheritance tax.

This, and more, in 2013 and for Spain.

 


 

ERVA reports Tax Fraud to the Spanish Tax Office

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Having been made aware that NORDEA BANK LUXEMBOURG may be assisting inheritors on the delicate issue of filing IHT returns in respect of deceased subscribers of the tax-evading Nordea Mortgage + Unit Linked Policy package, it was deemed convenient to report this to the Spanish Tax Office.

The “denuncia” informs the authorities that NORDEA Bank Luxembourg S.A. could be advising inheritors on how to fraudulently register the mortgage loan in the tax form, as a real debt, also fraudulently leaving out the value of the unit-linked policy altogether, even though the sums obtained by the inheritors are fully taxable in Spain whether the inheritor is a resident, or not, contrary to Nordea’s publicity.

Tax Fraud is a crime prosecutable in Spain where the sums defrauded exceed €120,000.

A unit-Linked policy worth €500,000 inherited “abroad” and not declared in Spain, that is, with the assistance of Nordea’s Jesper Hertz (Marbella) and Jhon Mortensen (Luxembourg), would defraud the Spanish Tax Office €125,805.34…

 

NORDEA Bank Topping the Dishonest Bank’s List

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Nordea Bank Luxembourg must feature top of the list in this imaginary list of indecent foreign banks that once operated, and still do, in Spain. From a tiny office in Marbella, Centro Plaza, they have scammed untold numbers of otherwise happy British (and probably many fellow-nationals) property owners.

This booklet will soon be studied by investigators in tax evasion criminality, scholars and Universities of all over Europe. Across the Atlantic, the US Attorney’s Office in Manhattan is being sent a full dossier of the incriminating paperwork for their consideration, as it appears that Nordea Bank Luxembourg also felt the need to cheat the US Internal Revenue Service.

Rothschild and Landsbanki have packed up, knowing the extent of the damage.

Judicial action will soon catch up with these banks.

Offending Equity Release to be Scrutinized by the Spanish Tax Office

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Lawyers for ERVA have formally requested the Tax Office to provide an opinion on whether the widely publicized and marketed “tax-mitigating mortgage” is, from a tax point of view, a legal option under Spanish laws.

No sooner we get an answer than we will be publishing its content on this site.

Non-Residents to Pay IHT on Unit-Linked Offered in Spain

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A 2002 ruling states it clearly: where an insurance company is offering life insurance in Spain, the beneficiary of the policy is to pay taxes in Spain, whether his status is one of residency or non-residency.

According to the ruling:

Where the policy holder and the beneficiary of the policy are different persons, any payments made under the policy will pay Spanish IHT, irrespective of whether the beneficiary is a tax resident in Spain, or not, pursuant to the provision of Act 29/1987 of the 18th of December and the Royal Decree 1629/1991, of the 8th of November, which approves the Inheritance Tax Regulation.

Of course, it was not in the interest of Lex Life, Nordea Life and Pensions, Jyske Bank etc. to tell people the truth, was it?

How best to further your business in this country by cheating foreign property owners, hey?

At least, you did study carefully and took into account the legendary Spanish laid-backness, we’ll give you that, but for sure, this scam will soon be properly picked up…!

Sydbank’s Offer To Settle Turned Down

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Undeterred by the scandal that hit the press in Denmark 1 year ago which meant, among other things, the closing down of Sydbank Switzerland (to presumably prevent further reputational damage), Sydbank Denmark’s lawyers in Spain are still convinced their customer did nothing wrong and so, have offered a meagre 40% of the portfolio losses to their victims/customers, leaving out of the base to calculate compensation mortgage payments, costs, legal fees etc.

Naturally, the offer was promptly rejected.

Let’s remember what this bank did during its very short, yet extremely damaging time in Spain, which those lawyers consider to be “acceptable”:

  • Opened an office in Fuengirola without letting the Bank of Spain know.
  • Offered British customers a perfectly sound and legal Inheritance tax “avoidance” scheme, in partnership with Nykredit, whereby unencumbered properties would be mortgaged with a loan offered by the latter, the proceeds being dispatched to a Swiss account held by a Belize-based offshore company, all of it devised, arranged and managed by the former.
  • Used an unregulated IFA based on the Coast.

At the same time, the lawyers:

  • Denied having offered an Equity Release Scheme with Nykredit.
  • Denied any relationship with Nykredit, alleging that it was the borrower who contacted both, separately.
  • Denied having had a contract with any IFA on the Coast, blaming the customers for “hiring” the IFA.
  • Confirmed that if Inheritance Tax was the purpose of the contract, it would have been the customer’s motivation and not the bank’s.
  • …Denied that the earth was round

Rothschild: we never provided financial advice

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One of the many excuses Rothschild put forward to excuse themselves of any wrongoing (and they have a case ready of excuses, just in case!) was that, when shamefully selling the nefarious CreditSelect loan (the mortgage loan which should not be seen as one thanks to “Rothschild conservative approach”), they never provided financial advice. 

The reality is different: Rothschild not only provided tons of financial advice (abundancy of literature proves this), they actually selected the funds where the monies were to be invested in and there was no compromising in this.

For the pensioners, there was no reason to distrust their set up, as they put it:

Thanks to Rothschild’s conservative approach, clients will not be exposed to unnecesary risks

Mike Atherton has a very interesting column in the Money Section of The Times and very much line with the above, wrote an article yesterday (2/2/2013) titled When advice is not advice.

 

One of my Times Money colleagues recently sat in on a consultation her mother had with a mortgage expert. Strictly speaking, the expert was not offering advice but “information” about mortgages. However, as the conversation ranged over different mortgage products and her mother’s available options, my colleague could not help feeling that, whatever the official label, this felt more like advice than simple information.

 

This blurring of the distinction between information and advice is not confined to the mortgage market. The entire financial services industry is full of grey areas where consumers may think they are receiving one thing, when in fact what they are officially being given is something rather different.

 

The problem is especially acute in the investment world. Over the past 20 years a range of execution-only intermediaries, including discount brokers and investment platforms, has sprung up to offer investors a vast amount of information and research, but not advice.

 

They are competing for business with financial advisers, who, as the name implies, do give advice, as well as offering access to research and financial data.

 

So you have advisers on the one hand and intermediaries on the other, both helping investors with their investment choices and both offering them the benefits of their research and analysis. Investors could be forgiven for failing to spot the difference.

 

But the distinction is important because investors should be crystal clear about whether they are receiving financial advice or not. If they mistakenly think they are, they could be lulled into a false sense of security about the appropriateness of the product they are buying.

 

Some financial advisers suspect that their execution-only only rivals have not exactly been unhappy about the blurring of distinctions. The more cynical point to the many cases where intermediaries have drawn up lists of their preferred funds, or produced glossy booklets highlighting a small number of carefully selected funds, while making no mention of the rest.

 

What, the cynics ask, does this represent, if not a recommendation to buy certain funds and ignore others? The intermediaries would respond that they always issue a clear disclaimer that none of the information they provide should be construed as amounting to a recommendation or advice. But the cynics say that if it looks like advice, sounds like advice and feels like advice, investors are going to consider that it is advice.

Does anyone still believe today that Rothschild did not provided financial advice?

How much longer can they persist in pursuing this grand larceny?

 

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