ERVA has had access to a ruling from an Alicante-province Court declaring an Equity Release Contract null and void,¬†ordering DANSKE BANK INTERNATIONAL S.A. to remove the mortgage charge over the clients’ property and ordering the bank to¬†assume all investment losses. Conversely, the Court also orders the claimant to return the deposit received, all of it pursuant to article 1303 of the Spanish Civil Code.

The claimants, a Norwegian couple, had attended a seminar where a number of bank representatives, as well as carefully-chosen biased lawyers, had been lined up to promote and sell the tax-avoidance virtues of a bespoke multi-currently mortgage loan.

Anne Leighton, Gustavo Garcia and Oyving Bjornsen, for Danske Bank International S.A, had extolled the advantages of a pioneer financial product that was to be used, primarily, to legally avoid the unassumable inheritance tax they would be hit with on death of either of the clients.

Legal eagle Agnete Dale, at the time working for VOIGT LAWYERS, nodded in agremeent (it is not clear from the Court dispatches that she actually knew what she was nodding about).

The Judge concluded that the multi-currency loan, as well as the financial investments made by DANSKE BANK INTERNATIONAL S.A., was offered to their customers as a means to protect their properties, on death of either owner, by reducing the amount of INHERITANCE TAX payable to the Spanish Tax Office. 

The Court thereby concludes that the objetive of the mortgage loan was not to satisfy the clients’ desire to invest in speculative financial products but to protect their property against Spanish IHT, adding that had the clients known about real bank’s intentions -to invest life savings in sheer speculative investment markets- they would have turned down the proposal.

The ruling can be appealed.

Lawyers acting for the claimants are Benidorm-based (contact details to be provided upon request).