Tag archives for Spairs

CHANGE OF FORTUNES: BANKS SET TO LOSE MILLIONS WORTH OF EQUITY RELEASE CONTRACTS

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Landbanki Luxembourg

A recent ruling by the Appeal Court of Bilbao -confirming an earlier ruling by the Court of First instance-is to set the ground for future cases on the so-called Equity Release mortgage loans.Ā  Three Judges in the Basque High Court have ruled that banks -and by extension any other financial services company- that do not have a valid operating license will see their agreements declared null and void, be it mortgage loans, investment contracts or any other.

In late 2014, 20 pensioners (mostly British) bought an action to set aside 12 equity release mortgage loansĀ -worth 6 million euros- against SLM, a Cheshire-based lender. The lender had not secured the mandatory regulatory license although they did warn they had no license to operate in Spain as, according to them, they were only providing lending for customers seeking to raise cash on their homes.

Now, the Bilbao Appeal Court has said the warning was no ā€˜mitigatingā€™ factor because it misled the claimants into believing that the loan they were sold was financially secure when, in fact, most of it was invested via unregulated Isle of Man-based-dubious Premier-Group.

The relevance of the ruling, which brings an end to the suffering of the victims of this scam, is twofold: it nullifies contracts issued by unregulated companies and it fully endorsesĀ the allegations of the claimants that the widely publicizedĀ Inheritance Tax benefits were false,Ā emphasizing thatĀ such conduct is deceitful and fraudulent.

It is believed that defunct Luxembourg-based Landsbanki Bank had lent a staggering 100 million euros in Spain to reduce death duties that thankfully will be difficult to recoup, whilst Rothschild Group could be set to lose 40 million Euros.

 

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.Ā 

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 theĀ 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 ā€œinformationā€ about mortgages. However, as the conversation ranged over different mortgage products and her motherā€™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?

 

Former Rothschild Lawyer Failed to Spot Fraudulent Valuation

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Rothschild should have known a thing or two about mortgaging properties, one would have thought. And presumably one would have thought that, had Mr. Steven Dewsnip been in doubt as to the legality of his spurious Equity Release Scheme, sold as SPAIRS by a close collaborator (Henry Woods, illegal Costa financial operator), sound legal advice could have been easily accessed by the endless pot enjoyed by the Rothschild family.

And so they did, choosing the sixth Spanish firm by revenue, Gomez-Acebo & Pombo.

Interestingly though, the lawyer acting for the above firmĀ (PDF), Mr. Luis SĆ”nchez PĆ©rez, failed to spot one very serious breach of Spanish Banking Laws incurred in by Rothschild: the document used to assess the value of the propertyĀ (PDF) was not legal, since it was drawn up by a company not authorized by the Bank of Spain, under no circumstance, to produce valuations for mortgage purposes, in Spain.

His shortsightedness has only recently been exposed, after the ERVA closely inspected all documents delivered by victims of this sham, but far from trying to cover up he chose to indulge in publishing self-aggrandizement articles (PDF) that, coincidentally, talks about theā€¦Spanish Equity Release.

This is what he says:

Ā ā€œworld globalization allowed the reverse mortgage to be introduced in Spain, particularly with the first contigent of British expat that settled in the Spanish coastsā€¦ā€

Ā ā€œthe majority of the population that chose warmer climates have come to Spain to spend the best years of their lives, albeit with limited financial resources that are obvious in people who live off pensions and that, additionally, have seen the value of these dwindling as a result of the unfavourable exchange ratesā€¦ā€

ā€œIn situations where there is a lack of liquidity, a good option is the reverse mortgageā€¦ā€.

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