Tag archives for Spanish Inheritance TAx and Income RElease Scheme

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.  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 loans -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 ‘mitigating’ 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 endorses the allegations of the claimants that the widely publicized Inheritance Tax benefits were false, emphasizing that 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.

 

Claim against SL MORTGAGE FUNDING N 1 LIMITED and THE PREMIER GROUP (ISLE OF MAN) LIMITED

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ERVA can announce that the claim against SL MORTGAGE FUNDING N 1 LIMITED and THE PREMIER GROUP (ISLE OF MAN) LIMITED -on behalf of 14 claimants- will be filed on Friday 4th of April 2014.

The claim is based on the following grounds:

  • Neither company were regulated to operate in Spain. The company SL MORTGAGE FUNDING N 1 LIMITED actually admitted this was the case as if to avoid the application of Spanish mandatory provisions by attempting, in the opinion of the acting lawyers, to equate the validity of this undertaking to a type of “limitation of liability clause”.
  • Both companies openly admitted that the main purpose of the product, sold with the name “SITIRS” (Spanish Inheritance Tax and Income Release Scheme or Spanish Investment Transfer and Income Release Scheme), was to reduce or mitigate Spanish Inheritance Taxes.
  • Both companies confirmed that they had received the ‘blessing’ of top law firms, ERNST & YOUNG and URIA & MENENDEZ, none of which will admit to this.
  • Both companies concocted a plan to have the products signed in Bilbao through local ‘friendly’ lawyers, Rocco Caira and Javier Bicarregui, both paid generously to sanction a bogus transaction made possible by the teaming up of a group of unscrupulous financial operators.
  • Neither company allowed customers the slightest bit of information that explained the real predatory nature of the investments where the mortgage loans were invested. This was a natural consequence of not having offered the obligatory prospectus, under Spanish laws.
  • Both companies shared directors, a clear indication of their togertheness in the devising of this illegal scheme.
It is still undecided whether the claim will be filed against BNP Paribas Trust Company (IOM) LIMITED and Royal Bank of Scotland (IOM) LIMITED, Custodians of the invested moneys in different times, unregulated in Spain to provide such service pursuant to the Collective Investment Scheme Act and equally responsible of permitting the engineering of a fraudulent illicit financial product for Spain, the SITIRS.
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