Tag archives for Ian Sherdley

Expat equity release victims take on banks

Share

The directors of action group Equity Release Victims Association stand to lose their homes Photo: Larry Lilac / Alamy

Tempted by the offer of a salary for life and an inheritance tax reduction, organisers of Equity Release Victims Association, Ian Sherdley, 69, and Euan Armstrong, 73, used their Spanish holiday homes as collateral to buy into the equity release schemes.

The schemes were sold by independent financial advisors working the expat communities along the Costa del Sol on behalf of Denmark’s biggest bank Danske Bank and Nordea Bank SA.

They were told that if they took out full mortgages against the value of their Andalucian homes, which were fully paid for, and then gave the money to the bank to invest, their inheritance tax liability would be reduced and they’d receive a small lump sum, as well as a monthly return on the bank’s investment which would cover the cost of the remortgage and provide a small salary.

Mr Sherdley, from Lancashire, and Mr Armstrong, from Scotland, followed the advice only to be later told by their Nordic Banks that the investments had gone badly, the remortgaged money had been lost and their homes suddenly belonged to the banks.

It is thought that there could be hundred of expats in similar positions across Spain and France.

A Spanish court has so far suspended Danske Banks’ foreclosure and repossession order, while a decision as to how the cases will proceed is expected in the near future.

According to Mr Armstrong’s lawyer, Antonio Flores from Lawbird Legal Services, the schemes were mis-sold, bearing in mind it is illegal to knowingly indebt yourself in order to reduce your inheritance tax liability.

He said: “We want to find out exactly how many of the schemes were sold, to who, and on what basis.

“As far as I can gather, retired expats were targeted because they had paid off their mortgages, so could use them as collateral and would be tempted by talk of reduced inheritance tax liability.”

Mr Armstrong added: “We encourage everyone who, like us has been sold one of these schemes to get in touch.

“Do not lie down and take this. These banks are making billions every year with your money.”

A spokesman for Nordea bank said: “We can’t comment, but we can say is that Nordea runs its business in compliance with local laws.”

A spokesman for Danske Bank said: “According to the law we cannot comment on individual customer cases nor questions related to individual customer cases. We have no comment.”

If you have a story to tell about equity release, please contact sean.o’hare@telegraph.co.uk.

Originally published on http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/expatproperty/8759583/Expat-equity-release-victims-take-on-banks.html.

Expats in Spain battle the banks

Share

UNITED: Euan Armstrong and Ian Sherdley have joined forces against the banks

Euan Armstrong, who the Olive Press reported is taking Danske Bank to court after it convinced him to use his two million euro Malaga home as collateral, has now teamed up with fellow expat Ian Sherdley, 69, to form the Equity Release Victims Association.
“We are forming an association to prevent these banks from robbing expats of their property by offering a pile of cash as part of an investment plan,” explained Armstrong, 73, who lives in Marbella.
“Equity release is not safe and a loan against the property with the idea of hiding the money in an offshore account or removing the money from the value of the property is certainly illegal in Spain.”
Sherdley, 69, from Lancashire, who is involved in similar scheme with Nordea Bank SA, added: “These banks are just trying to fill their coffers. So now we are working on getting a legal voice to pursue them through the criminal courts.”
The pair are being backed in their venture by lawyer Antonio Flores from the Marbella based firm Lawbird.
“The purpose of the association is to support people through their predicament,” Flores explained.
“Equity release is actually killing people, through such degrees of stress. Their livelihoods are being reduced and in some cases their lifespan.

“We have decided to do something.”

Now Armstrong and Sherdley are calling on other victims – believed to run into the hundreds – to stand up and fight these huge financial institutions.
“We ask everybody to join us who has or is suffering a similar rape and pillage from a Scandinavian Bank,” said Armstrong.
“Do not lie down but stand up and fight them.
“These banks are making billions of euros every year and stealing your money.”
When questioned both banks said they were unable to comment on individual cases.

Skip to toolbar