Tag archives for Surrenda Link Mortgage Holding

A Judge nullifies 12 equity release mortgages worth 6 million Euros

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Vista de los juzgados de Bilbao en los que se ha llevado el caso.

Source: Diario Sur

The sale was conducted through commission-driven financial advisors based in Estepona, Marbella and Fuengirola.

Court of First Instance 11 in Bilbao has ruled that twelve mortgage loans valued at 6 million Euros, granted to British families mostly in the Malaga province between 2004 and 2007, should be declared void.

The Court dealt with this case as all loans were granted at a Bilbao Notary Public and the representatives of the lender, SL Mortgage Funding nÂș1 Limited (SLMF), were also based in the Basque city, according to Lawbird Legal Services S.L.P.

These loans were sold to attain a reduction in potential inheritance tax, inasmuch as the mortgage would reduce the taxable value of the property, but also as a means to supplement the modest pensions received by the owners of the properties.

Chester-based SL Mortgage Funding nÂș1 Limited (SLMF) had not applied for the necessary regulatory permits to legally raise funds from the public and provide an investment service, activities reserved and regulated by the Bank of Spain and the CNMV (financial regulator).

In spite of not having any of the above authorizations, SLMF would lend but at the same time retain most of the proceeds of the loan, which would then be invested by them.

The ruling declares that “infringing the protocols set by the relevant administrative authority to supervise the disputed product is a regulatory violation that exceeds that of a mere breach of banking laws, such as misselling, so profusely dealt with recently in relation to the massive sale of complex financial products.”

The Judge held that in this case, the breach of public policy “is far more serious for it makes a mockery of a whole system of financial and banking supervision designed to prevent abuses to consumers and protect the stability of the sector”, and likens this behaviour “civil fraud”, which is any proposal that contravenes mandatory regulations or has a false or forbidden reason.

The sale of this product was conducted via commission-earning financial advisory firms (Hamiltons Financial Services, Henry Woods Investment Management and others), based in Estepona, Marbella and Fuengirola.

SLMF also recommended a network of lawyers that created an appearance of seriousness, downplaying the extent of the lack of licensing requirements of the bank and the product.

According to Lawbird Legal Services S.L.P., for the claimants, the ruling confirms that operating in breach of mandatory banking and financial regulations makes the suspect a “boiler room”, -even if the company was legally operating in their own country- and allows the victims to rid themselves of a nightmare lasting for over 10 years.

The Judge concludes that the nullity and voidness should be made applicable to all contracts and agreements executed between the clients and the bank, applying the laws of contractual termination in odd fashion –albeit most favourable- as clients “will be able to claim what consideration they gave under the contract without having to return was given to them.”

Other articles:

La Vanguardia

El Economista

Finanzas.com

Day In Court Against SLM and Premier Isle of Man

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On Thursday 14th July, Bilbao Courts heard the case of a number of the SITIRS (Spanish Inheritance Tax and Income Release Scheme) product against Surrenda Link and Premier Isle of Man companies.

From the victims’ part, lawyers insisted –and proved beyond doubt- on the crucial lack of regulatory clearance on not only the product, but the financial entities and the IFAs. Lawyers also proved that the inheritance tax reduction proposition was fraudulent. Our lawyers alleged that the product, called SITIRS (Spanish Inheritance Tax and Income Scheme), was a sham in every aspect. They also evidenced that lawyers appointed to act for victims were for the most part on the list of SLM appointed lawyers.

A witness who had worked for Hamilton’s attended as the hearing and confirmed that clients were approached by telephone cold-calling. The witness also advised that IHT was the main reason why this product ever existed, in the first place. When asked by the Judge if her company was registered, the witness stated that it had applied for a license but never received a reply from the CNMV.

For the part of SLM and Premier, the former argued that all risks were properly presented to the customer by signing the relevant forms. Insofar as Premier is concerned, their main allegation was that they were a different company from the one that sold the product during the 2005-2007 period.

The presiding Judge took an interest in the case beyond what is normal and tried, whether successfully or not, to understand the mechanics of this product. At one point, she argued that if this whole financial proposition was so difficult for legal people to understand, what chances did pensioners have (?).

The trial took six hours and the parties presented their oral conclusions.

The ruling will be issued any time now although, as August is a Court holiday month, it may be that we do not hear any more until September.

The Premier Group Isle of Man Files Response to Equity Release Action

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The Premier Group (Isle of Man) Limited has formally responded to Court papers filed by Equity Release Victims against this company and SLMB, their lenders.

The main allegations contained in the writ reveal a great deal of anxiety and worry, consistent with a very significant claim value of circa 6 million Euros.

In their defense, The Premier Group has avoided alluding to inheritance tax, lack of regulatory authorization to operate in Spain and financial miselling. Their main argument, aided by a partisan “independent” report drafted by their Isle of Man lawyers, CAINS, is that The Premier Group (Isle of Man) Limited was incorporated in July 2007 and therefore, could have never had anything to do with the SITIRS (Spanish Inheritance Tax and Income Release Scheme) which, according to their independent lawyers, was devised and promoted by ‘another’ company called “Premier Balanced Distribution Inc”, based in British Virgin Islands, a revelation that logically exonerates them from any responsibility and thus…case closed!

Such is the confidence of The Premier Group’s Spanish counsel that they liberally dub lawyers acting for the claimants as clumsy and inept, considering the magnitude and implications of this gross oversight.

What these lawyers have not realized is that Mr. Michael Richardson (photo), the mastermind of this illicit tax-evasion mechanism, boasts the following on his website:

In 2001 founded the forerunner fund group that became Premier and has been actively engaged in the design and management of many offshore funds.

The extent of this legal bungle is corroborated by yet further admission that they are, in essence, the same company:

The Premier Group (Isle of Man) Limited (“Premier”) is the successor of a fund group established in 2001 and is responsible for designing, distributing and managing a range of investment funds to investment intermediaries and financial institutions throughout the UK and international markets.

Further evidence that supports that both companies are the same will be produced in Court and, where appropriate, divulged in this website.

As for SLMH, they have not yet filed their defense papers that we are aware of.

Premier Group (Isle of Man) Limited and SLM Group To Face Legal Action in Bilbao

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Premier Group Limited, operating out of the Isle of Man, and SL Mortgage Funding NÂș1 Limited, originating from Chester, have had legal proceedings against them accepted by Courts in Bilbao.

A group of claimants, represented by lawyers acting for ERVA, filed a civil complaint against the aboved named companies for selling tax defrauding schemes, worth a grand total of €7.5 million, through misrepresentation and deceipt.

The scheme, also known as SITIRS (Spanish Income Transfer and Inheritance Reduction Scheme), was the brainchild of Premier’s Sales Manager for Spain Charles Walton. Unfortunately for his former employers, Walton was busier cheating people than ensuring that his boss complied with the Spanish regulators, a kind of essential job he forgot about completely.

The Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission, via the likes of Bobby Keig, Michael Weldon and Hazel Gawne, by repeatedly ignoring letters and emails from consumers cheated by this company, has given their implicit blessing to the now infamous clandestine activities of Premier Group, in Spain.

As for the appointed lenders, SLM, they were party to the scheme and derived an undisclosed profit for teaming up with Premier; they now face having their mortgages rendered null and void.

SLM (1) (1) (link to Court documents)

The Premier Balanced Fund and Surrenda Link Mortgage

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The Premier Balanced Fund was described as an “experienced investor fund”, restricting it to people capable of understanding the risks, but they needed a lender who could come up with 40 million Euros to invest in their fund.

SLM Funding NÂș1 Limited won the tender process: it was selected by the Premier Group (Isle of Man) Ltd. to find those 40 million Euros, an order they carried out efficiently: Aareal Bank was convinced to pool resources, some say Rothschild too…

But there was an added element in the form of bricks and mortar: approximately 100 Spanish properties would be used as collateral to ensure that, if the investments went down, 200-odd British pensioners could be made responsible of footing the bill.

The “experienced investor fund” is now probably worth less than half and the ex- mariners, ex-policemen, house wives and other Spain-based retirees who were instilled with the Fear of God with the Spanish Inheritance Tax -and fell for the scam- have their properties, and lives, bogged down.

Perverse Nicky Flux, loyal till death to SLM, keeps sending her monthly letter out to pensioners…letters coming from a company that would disgrace any Nigerian 419 business.

Terms & Conditions

The Premier Balanced Fund plc (“the Company”) is an experienced investor fund and complies with the requirements of the Financial Supervision (Experienced Investor Fund) (Exemption) Order 1999 (the “Order”) of the Isle of Man. Shares in the Company are only available to persons sufficiently experienced to understand the risks associated with an investment in the Company and who are willing to invest more than the minimum specified in the Order.The Value of shares in the Company, and the income produced by them can fall as well as rise. Investors may not get back the value of their original investment.The Company, is not subject to any form of regulation or approval in the Isle of Man and investors are not protected by any Isle of Man statutory compensation arrangements in the event of the failure of any of them. The Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission does not vouch for the financial soundness of the Company or for the correctness of any statements made or opinions expressed with regard to any of the same. It is the responsibility of any person/s wishing to apply for Shares in the Company to inform themselves of, and to observe, all applicable laws and regulations of any relevant jurisdiction.

I have read and understood the above information

   

SLMH and Henry Woods, Equity Release fraud at its best

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The Surrenda Link Mortgage Holding fell for the fake tax mitigation scheme that Charles “Charlie” Walton, based in Estepona, came up with. Just how any bank could have been so stupid to believe it is shocking but more worryingly is the fact that trusting customers, conned in the most despicable manner, have to be chasing this bank to obtain a resolution to their plight.

Below is a letter that was sent to SLMH by lawyers acting for a victim:

 

Dear Sirs

As you may be aware, the above customers took out a mortgage with your company between the years 2006 and 2007. The purpose of this mortgage was to reduce the taxable value of their property, with a view to pay a lesser IHT, and to create at the same time an income stream that would enable them to improve their lifestyle, given that they are all pensioners.

It is my understanding that Mr. Charles Walton, from the Premier Group, introduced this scheme in Spain some years back and convinced the SLM Group to provide the loans. This seems clear from the information below:

http://www.ifaonline.co.uk/international-investment/news/1329056/premier-offers-spanish-iht-mitigation

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/4195059/How-to-make-Spanish-property-pay.html

The following also appear to be true:

  1. Both Premier and SLM devised, planned, promoted and sold the product to British pensioners, under the appealing name SITIRS (Spanish Investment Transfer and Income Release Scheme), on the basis of one very clear message: “reduce the value of your property or face paying a very high tax rate”. The fraudulent and misleading advertising for this artifice is undisputed.  
  2. The product was also deceitfully sold as a means to raise cash and provide an income stream, being self-sustainable: pensioners were not required to have an income (SITIRS brochure read “there are no income proof requirements from loan providers”).
  3. SLM was not regulated to provide mortgage loans in Spain, as is required by any entity that wishes to professionally provide such service in Spain. The footer warning note amply inserted in promotional literature is no mitigating factor to the lack of compliance with this non-waiverable requirement. If at all, it shows that in spite of knowing the existence of certain regulatory obligations, SLMH chose to infringe them deliberately.  
  4. SLM instructed unregulated IFA to capture clients in Spain, against mandatory regulatory provisions. Hamiltons Financial Services is one of such agents and was used as a means for SLM and Premier Group to further their business in Spain. We find the allegation that the pseudo- IFAŽs were in fact hired by the customer as an excuse that deforms reality and is obviously untrue.  
  5. SLM instructed unregulated property valuers in Spain to capture clients, against mandatory regulatory provisions. Cluttons is one of such examples.

We would like to enter into a constructive dialogue in respect of these products, with a view to terminating the contracts on grounds that they are based on an illicit cause (tax evasion proposition), sold misleadingly as being able to legally reduce IHT taxes (irrespective of whether customers could have had independent advice), sold misleadingly as a means to provide an income for the duration of the term of the loan and utterly inadequate for the customerÂŽs profile.

Should you deem the above proposition acceptable, I am be happy to discuss the procedure to achieve the a settlement on this matter.

Yours faithfully

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