Why isn’t there a joint Luxembourg, French and Spanish investigation into the alleged mis-selling of equity release schemes?
The equity release scheme sold in France and Spain are sold by banks operating in Luxembourg. The banks in question are Danske Bank, Nordea, Rotschild Bank and, until 2008, Landsbanki. Clients of these banks have raised some serious questions regarding the legality of these loans – i.a. if these banks were at all allowed to sell these products in countries where they did not properly operate, how these banks informed their clients, if the banks did possibly promise far beyond what the schemes could sustain. And there are questions regarding the agents who sold the loans.
There now seems to be a good reason for Luxembourg, together with authorities in Spain and France to take action, to investigate all these schemes and to give these clients clear answers.
These clients have had no help from any authority. They have had to hire lawyers themselves to fight their corner. It is grotesque that in spite of all the talk EU directives on consumer protection turn out to give… errr, no protection at all to these clients.
The Landsbanki clients then have the additional problem of the bank’s bankruptcy and the lack of information from the administrator. Since the Landsbanki Luxembourg estate in reality only has two creditors – the Central Bank of Luxembourg and the estate of the Landsbanki Iceland – it raises the question why these two creditors do not seem to pay any attention to the complaints made loud and clear by the Landsbanki equity release clients.
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