Tag archives for Danske Bank Luxembourg

Founder Member and President of ERVA celebrates Court victory over DANSKE BANK LUXEMBOURG S.A.

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Image result for euan armstrong erva

Euan Armstrong, member founder and current President of ERVA, has managed to persuade a Court in Coin to dismiss loan foreclosure proceedings brought by Danske Bank International S.A. in 2010.

The victim of vicious luxembourg-based Danske Bank has fought relentlessly during 7 years to stop the lender from taking his home, after having been cheated by the bank’s staff -at one time based in Fuengirola- who sold him an Equity Release loan named as “Capital Assurance”.

In spite of being unsuccessful in 2 criminal actions, one directed to the bank’s representatives for aggravated fraud and a further one against a Coin-based Judge for negligence, the Superior Court of Justice in Granada -when dismissing the latter complaint against the Judge- deemed that Mr. Armstrong was nevertheless right in denouncing irregularities in the proceedings and observed that a fresh review of the case was necessary.

Finally, a newly-appointed Judge in Coin decided that Danske Bank’s position was untenable and threw the case out.

This ruling can be appealed (est. time 1.5 years to resolve) but it is unlikely it will be upheld.

Meanwhile, Euan is bringing new proceedings against Danske Bank International S.A. to nullify the Equity Release product and invalidate the mortgage loan.

Norwegian Claimants Win Equity Release Case Against Danske Bank International S.A.

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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).

Conversation between DANSKE BANK INTERNATIONAL and Son of a Victim

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Søren Glente

This conversation was taped by the son of a Danske Bank International S.A. victim, and Soren Glente, at the time one of the bosses in charge of selling the Capital Assurance. The conversation had already been postedin this site but now, we have the most relevant parts in writing.

In the recording Mr. Glente, a classic Luxembourg-based Danish banker, has a rare fit of honesty and sings like a canary: 

 

Minute 15:00 onwards

S.B.: How would you describe the risks of this product?

Soren Glente: Well ehhh depending on how aggressive the client would like to be then, I mean if you did it only for the purpose of optimize your tax situation. Then the risk is quite small, it will cost you something each year, I mean the difference between what you paid and the interests of the loan and what you could achieve on interests of the       and if these were place cautionally  the income from the assets would be less than what you paid on the loan, and that would be the price of …

S.B.: and was that made clear to the client?

Soren Glente: oh yes sure, for the

S.B.: so the income from the loans, sorry the income from the assets and investment would never cover the loan? Ehh?

Soren Glente: no , if you wanted to have a very cautious investment profile, then you couldn’t you couldn’t have , the income couldn’t achieve the cost of the loan, no. if you wanted to to achieve that on the loan , then you had to be take some kind of risk, like buying more risky assets

S.B.: so it was really ehh

Soren Glente: and so on and so on

S.B.: so in order to be low risk it was loss making

Soren Glente: yes, that’s for sure

S.B.: and loss it was going to accumulate every year

Soren Glente: yes, not by much, but yes, it would, it would accumulate each year because you would be ehh, you would be able to get an income from, let’s say your deposit or your short term bonds which would be ehh, the income would be less than what you paying interests on the loan, so therefore it would accumulate each year, yes it would

S.B.: do you think my clients understood that?

Soren Glente: yes they did, because I explained that to them, when I had meetings with them, I explained them , because I was, when I spoke  with clients ehh or with your parents ehh, they were, in the beginning the investments was very conservative  placed by me in an agreement with them, and then each year they could see that the capital actually degrees value, that the assets couldn’t provide income which would pay the interests of the loan, so therefore they came to me actually and ask whether I, we should consider changing the assets to more risky assets, in order to achieve a higher income, so I had a long dialog with your clients, ohh with your parents  about that, because I had to tell them that if they wanted that, the risk would increase and as far as  I remember we agreed to take a small portions of your parents’ assets and place them in a slightly risky assets, in order to at least break even, that is as far as I remember, but you could see, but you should be able to see that on the notes or… so that’s what happened. So  I remember I had a dialog with your clients, with your parents  in the bank sometime

S.B.: mmm mmm

Soren Glente: but we are going many years back now

S.B.: right, well I think that they did not understand it, I don’t think that they understood that from the beginning when they signed up to this contract, that this was going to run it to loss, if it was going to be lowerer QQ  

Soren Glente: no, you might be right. That they didn’t because, you might be right that they didn’t understand that

S.B.: mmm there were…

Soren Glente:  many many clients on the costa del sol didn’t understand that you can’t just, you can’t you can’t just automatically make money out of the negative equity, which it actually was, without taking risks and that has been the case for many many unfortunate clients down there that they are they have placed assets on too risky assets too risky assets like equities and things that were having a loan on both the house and the assets

S.B.: did you know the others, do you know,   how many other clients did you have like my parents?

Soren Glente: several

Up to minute 20:00

 

Minute 32:50 onwards

S.B.: and do you still sell this Company insurance scheme product?

Soren Glente: yes, by all means if people they are wanting to tax optimize their situation then that is one of the best schemes you can sell in.it really is

S.B.: but there is dispute about whether it does actually protect against Spanish inheritance tax, not everyone says, not everyone says it protects

Soren Glente: yes, but I have got a legal opinion saying differently

S.B.: from who, may I ask who from?

Soren Glente: it was from several other companies Price Waterhouse Coopers in Spain in Madrid, we have a legal opinion from these guys

Minute 34:03

Soren Glente: Yo have to do it right to have it to work, but it does work, you just have to know that the reason for doing this is not to release your equity from the property to in order to buy a new car or whatever you want to, the reason for doing this is to optimize your situation for wealth tax and yeah mainly inheritance tax, wealth tax was also an issue, but it is a lesser issue today

Tape Recording: How Danske Bank Sold Equity Release in Spain

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Søren Glente

When we say that ERVA has first-hand evidence on how Danske Bank International S.A. -based in Luxembourg- sold their diabolical Capital Assurance Equity Relase we are not referring to the fraudulent promotional literature, even if such documentation openly admits to offering a tax evasion product.

Actually, first-hand information means rather from the horses mouth, or more appropriately from Mr. Glente’s mouth, who openly confirms in a telephone recording how the product was sold.

In the conversation, Mr. Glente confirms the following:

  1. The product was ‘for sure’ loss making at low risk but that the inheritance tax benefits outweighed such losses (16’).
  2. Many of clients were not aware that the product was going to run at a loss, that it was in negative equity, “which it actually was” in his words, without taking risks (19′).
  3. The product is currently the best ‘tax avoidance’ product in Spain, and that it has been confirmed by several top firms, PWC included (33’)
  4. Danske Bank International S.A. sold the product in Spain to optimize the situation for Inheritance Tax, and that was the only real benefit.

The couple settled out of Court at a loss of circa €400,000, not before an apology was extracted from them.

Listen to this revealing conversation here, after obtaining clearance from a law firm. 

(the last 2 minutes of conversation relate to a recording between the owner of the tape and Danske’s lawyer in Fuengirola).

2 Danske Bank executives to appear in a Fuengirola Court over fraud allegations

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Henrik Hjerrild Hansen & John Lundskov Larsen pĂĽ kontoret i Fuengirola

According to Sur Newspaper, two executives of the largest Danish bank, Danske Bank, have been ordered to appear before the Criminal Court 1 in Fuengirola to be deposed in relation to two charges of swindle and misleading publicity, brought by Euan Armstrong, a Briton who was sold an equity release mortgage.

 

The bank’s employees (Henrik Hjerrild Hansen -above left- and Morten Runo Waaben), currently working from the Luxembourg branch office,  are due to appear in Court on the 23rd of January and are to be questioned by the Judge and the claimant’s legal representatives, Lawbird Legal Services.

 

The Court ruling has also ordered the legal representatives for Danske Bank International S.A. to appear in Court, on the same day, in a capacity of ‘civilly responsible party’, inasmuch as corporations did not have criminal responsibility when the alleged fraud took place.

 

According to the writ filed by the claimant in 2011, Danske Bank convinced him in 2005 to mortgage his retirement home in Alhaurin El Grande (Málaga) to guarantee a loan that was directly invested in financial speculative investment transactions, in Luxembourg, without the capital ever coming to Spain. The financial product, called “Capital Assurance”, promised interesting tax benefits compliant with Spanish laws in respect to Inheritance and Wealth Taxes by reducing or eliminating the taxable value of the property, once the mortgage was registered against it.

 

According to Lawbird’s representative, Danske Bank even falsified the content of a tax report on the product prepared by KPMG, one of the largest professional services company, by interpreting its conclusions in an unlawful manner with the purpose of facilitating sales.

 

The news release points out that KPMG has deemed ‘false’ a statement made by Danske Bank in their promotional marketing whereby the former had approved the tax benefits, as well as a formal request by KPM to Danske Bank to cease the use of their name and the removal of any reference to them having given their blessing to the financial product.

 

The text makes reference to a recent ruling by the Spanish Tax Office that concluded that the so called Equity Release on Spanish property is not a valid scheme for lawful tax mitigation but tax fraud, and a criminal offence where the defrauded sum exceeds €120,000 per tax year.

 

An indictment has also been brought against Peter Staarup, former Danske Bank CEO, as head of the Danish company that is believed to have sold in Spain over 100 “Capital Assurance” Equity Release mortgage loans worth tens of millions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Danske Bank Luxembourg to be Deposed

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Following a recent visit by Euan A. lawyers to the Criminal Court 1 in Fuengirola, it has been established that Danske Bank Luxembourg is now to be finally deposed via the European Judicial Network in criminal matters (EJN), in Luxembourg.

Danske Bank lawyers have been persistent in attempting to avoid, at all cost, the interrogation of the defendant parties. The tactics have so far been unsuccessful save for achieving a delay of a few months; the implications, however, could be expensive to its perpetrators for Court officials are of the opinion that there is a clearly defined strategy to maliciously prevent the normal progress of the proceedings and hamper the efforts of the claimant to obtain, via the Spanish Courts, a defendant’s statement within a criminal case.

Notably, Danske Bank insists that this is a purely civil dispute that should be conveniently ventilated by Civil Courts and yet, cannot and willl not explain why is their publicity false, fraudulent and proposes tax evasion openly. Surely, if they had nothing to worry about they would sooner be giving a clarifying statement than hiding behind slow EU cross-border plaintiff interrogation mechanisms.

Finally, it is worth noting that  the claimant’s counsel has indicated that both Mr. Morten Runo Waaben and Mr. Henrik Hjerrild Hansen should be deposed via the appropriate channels but that, if they felt a compelling desire to come out clean they could, through their advisors, request an appointment with the Fuengirola Court to give their statements.

 

Malaga Appeal Court Rejects Appeal by Danske Bank

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The Malaga Appeal Court has rejected a motion filed by Danske Bank lawyers attempting to revoke a decision by the Court of First Instance in Fuengirola that had ordered, some months back, to summon the Danish lender’s managers in their capacity as representatives of the “civilly responsible” party.

The importance of the decision lies with the position of the State Prosecutor Office for, whilst initially they had pressed for the whole Equity Release case to be dismissed (and so had the Fuengirola Judge), in respect to the above appeal their stance can be said to have taken a U-turn when they specifically opposed such appeal.

The bank’s representatives will now have to respond to the questions of the lawyers acting for the Equity Release victim E.A. such as, for example, why did they use the name of K.P.M.G. to convince customers to sign up for the Danske Bank Luxembourg Unit Link/Capital Assurance product when the consultancy mega-firm had never given their blessing to this tax evasion product.

 

 

Spanish Taxman Warns Again: Equity Release to Mitigate IHT is Tax Fraud

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Spanish Tax Office is insistent: customers are exposed to tax fraud if equity release mortgages are deducted from the estate calculation

Tax Office on Equity Release Binding Enquiry (click on image to download PDF)

But then Steve Dewsnip, from Rothschild, used to say the following:

“At Rothschild we are insistent that customers are not exposed to unexpected risks…”

And we now say: Steve, yes they are, so much so that only in respect of the tax matter, where the amount defrauded exceeds €120,000 per annum, there are jail terms ready to be handed down (Alhaurin penitentiary opening its doors to trusting clients?). Not to mention of course other risks that the product had to offer, in spite of Rothschild’s ultra-cautious approach: legal risk, currency risk, investment risk and not the least, health risk.

Barclays’ Senior Client Relations Advisor had stated in a letter published in an earlier post the following:

“We reviewed the ruling to which you refer and note that it relates to Spanish wealth tax only and does not deal with inheritance tax at all. Therefore, whatever conclusions in that ruling, they are not relevant to the issue of inheritance tax…The Bank satisfied itself that the scheme is not illegal.”

 

Two things on this:

  1. The scheme is not illegal per se, what is illegal is the sale of the scheme as a way to mitigate taxes and the pursuit of a tax benefit, as Barclays did, among other misrepresentations (such as it being a fantastic product for pensioners because it would provide an additional income stream to their retirement income etc.).
  2. The Tax Office has taken exception to the letter by Barclays and has specifically addressed the Inheritance Tax mitigation matter, rendering it openly as “Tax Fraud”. This means that Barclays is, prima facie, guilty of devising, promoting, endorsing and selling a product that is Tax Fraud.

And if the above holds water -which it clearly does- by extension all other schemes promoted by many other banks are illegal.

Danske Bank Golfer John Ludskov

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Danske´s John Lundskov golfing abilities ensured he could get many clients for his fraudulent Spanish Equity Release/Capital Assurance.

One of such clients has just passed away: he was Danish, just like Lundskov, and had sufficient funds to not have to beg, borrow, work or deal with evil bankers. And yet, he was sold the miracle product by Lundskov on grounds that his IHT exposure would be close to 80%.

His partner has now been left with a complicated situation: on the one side, she has documents from Danske Bank saying that this product is great to legally avoid taxes. On the other, Lundskov and Henrik Hjerrild Hansen are now nowhere to be seen when the tax thing is raised. And to make things even more complicated, the Spanish Tax Office has stated that under no circumstance is a loan a valid vehicle to avoid taxes in Spain, if it was not used to buy a home.

We will now formally demand from Danske Bank Luxembourg that they comply with their “tax avoidance” undertakings and foot the bill, as appropriate.

KPMG tells Danske Bank Luxembourg to Stop Using their Name

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And so it was, that, in relation to an Equity Release fraud case in Spain against Danske Bank Luxembourg, the defendant held the following:

We conducted our due diligence according to the internal rules and procedures Danske Bank Luxembourg has in place. As part of this process, the Capital Assurance product, sold on the basis of a tax-planning proposition, was fully cleared by KPMG. We therefore reject the claimant’s action for it is groundless, without merit, and we will defend ourselves vigorously.

 

Fully cleared by KPMG? What does that really mean in Danske Bank Luxembourg banking jargon?

Mr. Klaus Mønsted Pedersen: have you read the attached document by KPMG Madrid, denying that they ever gave the blessing to the cash-predatory tax-evading Capital Assurance Product, ever authorized your company to use their name and in fact, formally requested you to eliminate from the brochure any reference to the product being approved by KPMG?

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