Tag archives for Danske Bank International S.A.


Euan Armstrong, President and Founder of the Equity Release Victims’ Association, has finally succeeded in having his 2004 mortgage loan rendered illegal by a Spanish Court.

When in 2010 Danske Bank foreclosed on the loan and attempted to rob Euan of his Alhaurin home, he could not imagine what a long road lied ahead; immediately upon being served Court papers, Euan’s lawyers instituted criminal proceedings at the Fuengirola Court denouncing the scam he had been a victim of.

When 5 years later the Courts dismissed all criminal proceedings -as a result of a controversial decision by Spanish judiciary governing bodies to not pursue bank contracts criminally- and Danske Bank attempted to foreclose again, lawyers acting for Euan made an almost unheard -and very risky- legal decision: they filed a criminal case against a judge in Coin for admitting a loan foreclosure claim with blatantly insufficient documents.

The Granada High Court in charge of reviewing the case against the judge dismissed the allegations in 2018 -they were described as merely civil- but not before noting, in a short paragraph, that Euan’s allegation of a flawed civil procedure had merits in it. So whilst no charges were brought against the judge, a new Coin judge dealing with the case -who had replaced the previous one for unknow reasons- dismissed all foreclosure procedures on the basis of a technicality.

In 2019, with the threat of loan foreclosure all but eliminated, lawyers for Euan filed the definitive civil claim against Danske Bank International S.A. and The One Life Company S.A. for devising, promoting and selling a misleading and illegal complex financial product, requesting that both the mortgage loan contract and the insurance policies were ruled null and void by the Courts, which is exactly what the ruling has granted.

Lawbird Legal Services S.L.P. (Antonio Flores in the initial defensive actions and Juan Martinez Soler in the latter -and hopefully definitive- Coin Court of First Instance ruling) have acted for Euan Armstrong.

(to be continued)

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

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).

Tape Recording: How Danske Bank Sold Equity Release in Spain

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).

‘Spanish Inheritance Tax for Dummies’, by Danske Bank Luxembourg

Danske Bank International S.A. Head of Legal and Compliance claimed in Court that he could not recall if his client- the bank- gave tax advice to property owners abroad, but he thinks they did not.

Also, he was adamant that the bank’s understanding of the Capital Assurance product -in respect to IHT benefits- was that such benefits would be achieved by placing the loan in a Unit-Linked offshore based insurance policy, and never by reducing the value of the property.

The man, Ole Stenersen –whether through lack of sleep or a late heavy (another one) night out- was clearly confused. Firstly, he warned that he was no tax expert on the Capital Assurance scheme only to later dissect the financial product on the basis of its tax avoidance functionality.

Later he said that KPMG had only asked them (DB) to remove their name (KPMG), and confirmed that KPMG never questioned the tax advice that was given by Danske Bank, which according to Ole scrupulously followed KPMGs findings.

Finally, he insisted that their advertising material at no point stated that by taking out a mortgage would the customer reduce -legally- the value of the property.

Not to worry Ole, we are aware the flight from Luxembourg must have been long and the trip to Fuengirola arduous and so, at ERVA, we will lend you a hand with the homework by refreshing your selective memory with an IHT manual that is actually… your own publicity.

We hope you now remember better what was your employer exactly doing in Spain. 

(It defies logic what little respect you show for your own clients’ intelligence, your own banking system and, not the least, the Spanish Court system: if you’d been deposed in the UK you would have automatically been charged with perjury).

Malaga Appeal Court Orders Danske to Pay Legal Costs

As a result of the decision taken by 3 Magistrates of the Malaga Appeal Court to reject an appeal lodged by Danske Bank International S.A., the lender has been ordered to pay costs.

Danske Bank lawyers were insistent that their representatives were not summoned to Court. Both the Court of First of Instance and the Malaga Appeal Court thought otherwise.

It will now be interesting to find out where did Danske Bank get the brilliant idea of offering mortgages on Spanish property to artificially reduce its value for tax purposes because KPMG says they did not.

Can Klaus “Mønster” Pedersen please shed some light on this conundrum?

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