Sigrún Davíðsdóttir's Icelog

The long and winding road to justice for Landsbanki Luxembourg clients may go through France

with 3 comments

Justice Renaud van Ruymbeke has today ruled in favour of former clients of Landsbanki Luxembourg, as already reported in Le Quotidien Luxembourg and the French La Tribune. Justice van Ruymbeke had previously charged three non-Icelandic former Landsbanki employees of fraud. Now he has ruled that Landsbanki Luxembourg cannot enforce collaterals placed against the equity release loans. If this turns out to be the end of the Landsbanki Luxembourg cases against those who placed French assets as collaterals this will surely be of huge interest to those with assets in Spain, where some former LL clients have managed to halt the enforcement by going to court.

The crux of the matter is that as some other foreign banks in Luxembourg Landsbanki used its Luxembourg operation to issue equity release loans, sold to clients in France and Spain on questionable grounds, where the client is effectively both a borrower and an investor: part of the loan is paid out in a lump sum, typically 20-25%, the rest was invested by the bank.

As Icelog has already written about several times there are grave questions unanswered regarding these loans: Icelog has seen documents that show there are good reasons to doubt the soundness of the issuance of the loans and of the investments done by Landsbanki Luxembourg before it collapsed. After the collapse the administrator has, contrary to i.a. Landsbanki administrators in Iceland, apparently been unwilling to scrutinise the Landsbanki Luxembourg operations although clients have come forward with well reasoned and well motivated arguments about the loans. In addition, information has been unclear, communication poor and clients have not been acknowledged as having been both debtors and investors.

An incredible part of this long saga is the fact that the Luxembourg state prosecutor issued a press release in favour of the administrator, without having at all investigated the matter. The fact that a state prosecutor can issue such statements is a scary indication of the state of justice in this tiny country that because of its monumentally, relative to population, big financial sector has become holden to the interests of this same sector.

The Landsbanki Luxembourg clients have been fighting a heroic battle. These loans were mostly sold to elderly people and sadly some of the clients have died during these years of battling an unyielding justice system in Luxembourg where even getting a lawyer in a case, non-favourable to the state and/or the financial sector, seems to be a hindrance to seeking justice. It therefore comes as no surprise that a step towards victory for the clients has been taken not in Luxembourg but abroad, in France.

PS Here is an article on the events today, from AFP but it concentrates on just one case, that of the singer Enrico Macias.

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Written by Sigrún Davídsdóttir

March 27th, 2014 at 10:35 pm

Posted in Iceland

3 Responses to 'The long and winding road to justice for Landsbanki Luxembourg clients may go through France'

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  1. Justice at last!!…please let’s hope and pray that these terrible last six years will soon be over…THANK YOU Sigran for your never ending support…. You are a STAR!!

    Julia Paige

    28 Mar 14 at 5:46 am

  2. I have just read this quote from Mme Hamilius’s lawyer BERNARD DARTEVILLE after he had heard that he had lost his case in Paris.

    “Landsbanki’s liquidator is only trying to recover improperly received funds, said its lawyer Bernard Dartevelle, adding that numerous borrowers had accepted deals to repay in exchange for dropping legal action.
    “This is the first time I’ve seen a fraud case where it is the ‘fraudster’ who gets expropriated,” he said.”

    Is he seriously suggesting that the hundreds of elderly victims of this outrageous scam are FRAUDSTERS ? Surely not and perhaps if he believes that he should try taking legal action against them for fraud. That would certainly open up the debate and help to expose the people behind this scam. Perhaps he should include the venerable Juge Van Ruymbeke in his accusations as it might be suggested that he was compliant with the victims.

    It certainly goes to show just what we as victims have been fighting for the past 5+ years. Thank goodness that justice is winning at last over the mountain of lies, deceit and disinformation spewing out of Luxembourgs judiciary.

    Nina Foster

    28 Mar 14 at 9:26 am

  3. This comment was posted on the Group of Victims of Landsbanki Luxembourg Govollux Facebook site this week:

    The PROFESSIONAL DUTY and LEGAL OBLIGATIONS of an administrator, receiver, curator, in the ‘SUSPECT’, ‘HARDENING’, ‘PREFERENTIAL’ PERIOD

    The administrator has the Professional duty as stipulated in EU law,

    1. To challenge and report any suspicious payments and transactions prior to bankruptcy,
    2. To challenge and report any suspicious accounting which shows no dates or proper details of destination of Transfers or order of transfer by the client,
    3. To report any allegations of false accounting
    4. To challenge and report any loans given or taken during the ‘Suspect’, ‘hardening’ or ‘Preferential’ period, made prior to the bankruptcy, WITHOUT LIMITATION OF TIME.
    Any one of these suspect events should ALERT the administration and lead to the IMMEDIATE recognition by the lawyers, in particular by the administrator and the supervising judges to the possibility of MONEY LAUNDERING and should be seen as clear signs of the ATTEMPTED LAUNDERING OF FINANCIAL CRIME.

    Failure by a Professional in the Finance and Legal Sectors,
    to report allegations and evidence of attempted Laundering of Financial Crime is a criminal offence and shows deliberate collusion in the crime.

    IT IS THE DUTY OF THE ADMINISTRATOR TO REPORT ABUSIVE LOANS GIVEN TO AN INSOLVENT COMPANY WHICH DELAY THE OFFICIAL DATE OF BANKRUPTCY
    so making the Bankruptcy date UNCERTAIN and the ‘suspect’, hardening’ or ‘preferential’ period INVALID.

    Payments made for transactions concluded during the SUSPECT or hardening period, are subject to CANCELLATION by the District Court upon proceedings instituted by the receiver especially in a case where a loan has been granted to an insolvent company and the Official date of Insolvency has been delayed and has made the official date UNCERTAIN in International law.
    ( i.e.Case of the bankruptcy of Landsbanki Luxembourg and the illegal loan by the BCL to the insolvent bank which artificially delayed the Official date of the bankruptcy, so making the ‘suspect’, hardening’, ‘preferential’ period invalid and the Official date UNCERTAIN)
    The E.U. must be under ALERT when there is evidence of an abusive bankruptcy administration, especially in the administration of a Bankrupt Bank.
    The terrain for Financial Crime in the case of a Bankrupt bank, is wide open to the possibility of the deliberate laundering of Financial Crime to mask serious International MONEY LAUNDERING.
    In a Bankruptcy of a Bank, there is ample opportunity, through false accounting and fraudulent unauthorised Transactions and abusive loans, to create a deliberate confusion of accounts, enabling the deliberate confusing and mixing of REAL DEBT (clean money) with Issue of FRAUD or DIRTY money.
    An administrator, lawyer, judge or other Professional bound by the Laws governing Professional duty, who fail to investigate and report serious allegations and evidence of FALSE ACCOUNTING and ABUSIVE LOANS, must sound the ALARM BELLS in the E.U.
    The highest Courts of the European Union should be on ALERT and the International community must be made aware of where the strong possibility of LAUNDERING of Financial Crime which leads to MONEY LAUNDERING on an international scale, is taking place.
    MONEY LAUNDERING is inevitably the possible end result of the clear signs of the ATTEMPTED LAUNDERING OF FINANCIAL CRIME, which is being denounced by hundreds of European pensioners, their families, friends and growing supporters across the world.
    This is not only a European problem, it is an International problem taking place in the Financial Centre in the heart of Europe whose, ex PM wants more POWER and INFLUENCE in Europe!
    Europe should be on ALERT and should ensure a full investigation of what lies behind the abusive Insolvency administration of a Bankrupt Luxembourg bank selling Toxic products which could never work, to European pensioners as an asset-stripping exercise.
    This was all done under the full supervision of the CSSF who gave the products a passport of distribution across the E.U. but interestingly did not sell the Toxic product at home in Luxembourg!

    Nina Foster

    10 Apr 14 at 6:12 am

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