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Investigation regarding Landsbanki in sight in Luxembourg

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By overturning an earlier court decision an appeal court in Luxembourg now seeks to establish an investigation into “money laundering, fraud and criminal conspiracy.” Benjamin Bodig, lawyer for the Landsbanki victim group, says it “opens the door to discover the truth and could lead to its victims being recognised as aggrieved customers” according to an article in Wort.

In October it will be six years since Landsbanki collapsed. The Luxembourg clients, mostly elderly foreign pensioners owning property in Spain and France, who had taken out equity release loans from Landsbanki have now for years sought to have investigated how Landsbanki handled these loans and the investment that were part of the loans and also the actions of the liquidator, Mme Hamilius.

Special prosecutor in Iceland has already charged Landsbanki managers for market manipulation and breach of fiduciary duty. These charges are still being dealt with by Icelandic courts. In France there is now an investigation into the Landsbanki practices as well. From what I have seen regarding Landsbanki operations in Luxembourg there is good reason to investigate the bank’s operation, both before and after the collapse.

The actions against Landsbanki in France and Luxembourg would not have happened if it were not for the heroic attempts by the Landsbanki victim group to have these operations investigated. Their attempts in Luxembourg were met by remarkable lack of interest on behalf of the authorities, the height of which was when Robert Biever Procureur Général d’Etat, state prosecutor, sided openly with the liquidator, echoing her view that the Landsbanki Luxembourg clients raising concerns just did not want to repay their loans, as mentioned in an earlier Icelog.

As I have written earlier this “case has shown that when it comes to unified European financial  sector it only works for banks, facilitating cross-border operations. For clients and consumer protection this sector has as many holes as a Swiss cheese. A food for thought: if cross-border operations only work for banks and not for clients they should not be allowed.

Here are some earlier Icelogs on the remarkable story of this case that authorities in Luxembourg have ignored for so long.

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Written by Sigrún Davídsdóttir

July 17th, 2014 at 9:51 am

Posted in Iceland

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

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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

Landsbanki Luxembourg and its victims: two events of potential interest

with 14 comments

“… when it comes to unified European financial  sector it only works for banks, facilitating cross-border operations. For clients and consumer protection this sector has as many holes as a Swiss cheese. A food for thought: if cross-border operations only work for banks and not for clients they should not be allowed.”

As often mentioned earlier on Icelog a group of Landsbanki Luxembourg clients have been trying to attract the attention of Luxembourg authorities as to the nature of the bank’s operations and to the handling of the bank’s administrator of their cases. Contrary to Icelandic authorities and the Landsbanki winding-up board, busy investigating the bank in Iceland and charging/suing its managers, Luxembourg – the tiny country dwarfed by its towering financial sector – has shown no appetite for any such undertaking.

Now there are two new and very different developments which might be of interest for the Landsbanki clients, all of whom are foreigners, mostly elderly people, with properties in France and Spain. Labour MP Huw Irranca-Davies has drawn attention to the Rotschild bank, which also sold equity release products, causing default and loss of property, to a similar group of clients. And creditors in the long failed Luxembourg bank, Bank of Credit and Commerce International, BCCI also, like the Landsbanki Luxembourg clients, think that Luxembourg authorities are difficult to deal with.

MP Irranca-Davies raised the equity release issue in a House of Commons debate and had some harsh words for the Rotschilds: “… you have badly deviated from your core values, badly served your brand and reputation, badly served people who regarded themselves as your clients – not the clients of some intermediaries as they claim – and who are now facing penury after investing in products which your name, Rothschilds, your integrity, your values were used as a key selling point.”

Interestingly, conservative Treasure minister offered to raise the matter with counterparts in Spain and Guernsey. Should he do that someone should tell him not to leave out the Landsbanki Luxembourg cases since they also concern equity release loans.

One aspect of the equity release loans is that they have been sold by banks not operating in the country where the products have been sold. Rothschild, Landsbanki and several Scandinavian banks, all active in this business, sold the products to people in Spain and France, not from their operations there but from their Luxembourg operations. An interesting aspect, which has created a sort of vacuum around these operations: when the clients felt they had things to complain about Luxembourg authorities have not really listened as the products were not sold there; and authorities in France and Spain have so far not really taken the issue seriously since the banks were operating abroad.

This case has shown that when it comes to unified European financial  sector it only works for banks, facilitating cross-border operations. For clients and consumer protection this sector has as many holes as a Swiss cheese. A food for thought: if cross-border operations only work for banks and not for clients they should not be allowed.

For anyone following the world of finance for some decades BCCI is a familar name. The bank was operating – yes, in Luxembourg for two decades from the 1970s. Founded in Luxembourg in 1972 by a Pakistani financier, Agha Hasan Abedi, it eventually failed in 1991 after financial regulators in several countries feared it was badly regulated.

It took years to get the Luxembourgians to act but when they did it turned out that its operations were not only mundane lending and borrowing but money laundering and other criminal activities. One interesting aspect, in light of development in the three failed Icelandic banks is that the BCCI administrator, Deloitte, sued the bank’s auditor, Ernst & Young. The case never came to court but was settled for $175m in 1998.

All of this has turned into a long saga, which quite remarkably is still ongoing. The latest is that some of its creditors are now fighting authorities in Luxembourg, claiming it is blocking money from creditors. Though the BCCI creditors certainly with deeper pockets than the Landsbanki clients, they are no less upset and do not intend to drop their case any time soon. One of them is dr. Adil Elias, whose story has earlier been told by the WSJ.

Quite intriguingly the two gropus – the Landsbanki Luxembourg victims and the BCCI creditors – have one  thing in common: both had cases ruled on right up to Christmas in Luxembourg and in both cases those complaining lost. Maybe a coincidence – or this is the time Luxembourg courts feel is the best time to rule on “unruly” bank clients ready to take on Luxembourg authorities.

*See an earlier Icelog on this issue, with links to older coverage on Icelog.

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Written by Sigrún Davídsdóttir

January 23rd, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Posted in Iceland

Now what about Luxembourg and financial supervision?

with 8 comments

Three Kaupthing bankers and the bank’s second largest shareholder were recently sentenced in Iceland to 3 to 5 1/2 years in prison for market manipulation and breach of fiduciary duty. The story behind the case is a share purchase in Kaupthing in September 2008. At the time, all four now convicted – then chairman of the board Sigurður Einarsson, CEO Hreiðar Már Sigurðsson, Kaupthing Luxembourg manager Magnús Guðmundsson and investor Ólafur Ólafsson – were interviewed in the Icelandic media where they underlined the strength of Kaupthing by pointing out that a Qatari investor, al Thani, had bought 5.1% in the bank.

What they failed to mention was that al Thani was not so much risking his own money as Kaupthing money: via an intricate scheme based on a few offshore companies the funds for the share acquisition came from Kaupthing itself. And where was the master plan carried out? In Luxembourg.

Kaupthing subsidiary in Luxembourg was at the centre of the al Thani saga. That was were the idea was brought into action, money into one vehicle and out into another. It is a well known fact in Iceland that most of the banks’ most questionable deals were indeed carried out in Luxembourg. It is an intriguing thought that Luxembourg was time and again chosen at the preferred place for these deals.

In early 2011 I was in Luxembourg and had a meeting at the Luxembourg financial services authorities, Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier, CSSF.* I met with a few people in a meeting room. I was on one side of a huge table, four or five people on the other side. Already then it was clear that the Icelandic banks had been doing some rather “inventive” banking in Luxembourg. I presented some of the cases I knew of. On the other side of the table there were only expressionless faces and then I was told that rules and regulations were strict in Luxembourg. Nothing contrary to laws could take place in Luxembourg banks.

In the CSSF 2012 Annual Report its Director General Jean Guill writes:

During the year under review, the CSSF focused heavily on the importance of the professionalism, integrity and transparency of the financial players. It urged banks and investment firms to sign the ICMA Charter of Quality on the private portfolio management, so that clients of these institutions as well as their managers and employees realise that a Luxembourg financial professional cannot participate in doubtful matters, on behalf of its clients.  

“… cannot participate in doubtful matters…” – If only matters were that simple. Now four people have been sentenced to prison in Iceland for participating in doubtful matters that violate Icelandic laws, according to the Reykjavík District Court, but were carried out in Luxembourg, by using Luxembourg expertise and the so very favourable circumstances created in Luxembourg over decades.

A group of Landsbanki Luxembourg clients have for several years been trying to catch the attention of the Luxembourg authorities, a saga that Icelog has reported on time and again. This group had taken out equity release loans at Landsbanki. These clients have asked 1) serious questions about the dealings of Landsbanki Luxembourg before it went bankrupt – such as evaluation of property, calculations on loans breaching the collateral limit, investments related to the loans and how products were sold; 2) serious questions as to how the estate has been run, its misleading information or lack thereof, numbers that did not add up.

None of this has been addressed by the CSSF or other Luxembourg authorities so far. However, the Luxembourg paper Wort has reported that two cases related to Landsbanki Luxembourg are now being investigated, quoting minister of justice Octavie Modert.

So far, and to great cost and immeasurable emotional distress the bank’s clients – mostly elderly citizens living in France and Spain – have been left to battle on their own. In Luxembourg the State Prosecutor issued a press release in support of the Landsbanki Luxembourg administrator – unthinkable in most other European countries – thereby making it look as if the Landsbanki Luxembourg clients were trying to evade paying their debt. – Through court cases in Spain and France the group has made some advances but none of this is taken into any consideration at all in Luxembourg.

One client has shown me a set of calculations regarding one specific loan portfolio. Landsbanki Luxembourg, prior to its collapse, had claimed that this portfolio no longer covered the loan so the borrower was obliged to pay a certain amount in cash as a cover. As far as I could see, the number from the bank was wrong: the client was not in breach and should not have been obliged to pay. I could of course well be wrong. I sent this calculation to someone from Landsbanki Luxembourg with whom I had been in touch and whom I had told of this. I know for certain that this person got the calculation but I never heard back.

Only Luxembourg authorities can access documents regarding the operations of Landsbanki Luxembourg. Although the bank’s managers have been charged with criminal offenses in Iceland (case pending but due in the new year) by the Icelandic Office of the Special Prosecutor as well as being sued in a civil case by the Landsbanki Winding-up Board for misleading reporting Luxembourg authorities have not been willing to listen to well-founded claims by the Landsbanki Luxembourg clients: unanswered questions about the Landsbanki Luxembourg operations before the bank’s demise in October 2008 – as well as the administrator’s operations.

Noticeably, an administrator has the duty to investigate operations, as indeed the Landsbanki Winding-up Board has done. The administrator, Yvette Hamilius and lawyers working for her, have stated in Luxembourg media that everything the administrator has done is according to the law.

In one case that the Landsbanki Luxembourg administrator took to court, the administrator caused delays of, in total, 200(!) days. And on it goes.

The fact that the numerous authorities in Luxembourg, such as the CSSF and the State Prosecutor have either ignored pleas from clients or outrightly sided with the administrator, without any chance of the claims actually being heard or looked at, shows a horrendous lack of care for clients and a sound protection for the financial industry. And everyone can pretend that it is, as Director General Guill points out: that professionalism and transparency is such in the financial sector in Luxembourg that financial players “cannot participate in doubtful matters.”

One way to supervise financial institutions is by box-ticking: to look at each item in its narrow and isolated meaning, never look at connections or behaviour, never try to understand meaning and context. The institutions know this and prepare their material accordingly. Then there is little to fear. One reason why so little was seen and caught before 2008 was this attitude by regulators. Judging from the lack of interest in claims by Landsbanki Luxembourg clients this still seems to be the attitude among Luxembourg authorities. Authorities in Cyprus have announced that banks in Cyprus will be investigated, a little bit is being done in Ireland and the UK. When will Luxembourg follow suit? From anecdotal evidence there have been things going on in Luxembourg that merit investigations.

* See an earlier Icelog report on Luxembourg and the Icelandic banks. – Here is an earlier Icelog on Landsbanki Luxembourg.

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Written by Sigrún Davídsdóttir

December 18th, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Posted in Iceland

Investigations in Luxembourg into the operations of the Icelandic banks

with 19 comments

After much effort by former clients of Landsbanki Luxembourg – mostly foreign pensioners in Spain and France who took out equity release loans at the bank – it now seems their efforts have caught the attention of authorities in Luxembourg. In France, a judge has halted the recovery of these loans by the Landsbanki Luxembourg administrator

According to the Luxembourg paper Wort, there are now two investigations ongoing in Luxembourg related to Landsbanki’s operations there. This surfaced in the Luxembourg parliament as the minister of justice Octavie Modert responded to a parliamentary question from Serge Wilmes, CSV. Ms Modert said that both cases related to alleged criminal conduct in the Icelandic banks and great progress was being made in one of them.

According to Wort the progress relates to the Landsbanki equity release scheme, extensively covered on Icelog. It is not clear if both investigations relate to Landsbanki or if the operations of Kaupthing and Glitnir in Luxembourg are also being investigated.

The website of the Landsbanki Victim Group is here. This group has hired lawyers both in Luxembourg and Brussels. Considering the fact that the banks collapsed in October and that there have been efforts in Iceland to investigate operations there, also with assistance from authorities in Luxembourg it can only be said that if there is much progress made now, little was done for a long time. It seemed that Luxembourg was more than reluctant to pay any attention to the financial sector this little Duchy lives so well off.

The latest move is that efforts by the Landsbanki Luxembourg administrator to recover assets from the equity release clients have now been halted. As an investigation is ongoing in France into this scheme sold through Luxembourg, a judge in Paris has thwarted the recovery efforts while the legality of the scheme is still unclear.

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Written by Sigrún Davídsdóttir

July 10th, 2013 at 9:39 pm

Posted in Iceland

Is Luxembourg waking up to the fishy smell of its finance sector?

with 2 comments

A group of investors in Luxembourg funds have been trying to lodge complaints with the Luxembourg financial services authority, CSSF, after enduring losses in 2008. According to the FT (paywall), the group got a negative answer and little understanding from the CSSF in 2011 and has since been trying to get their complaints taken seriously, lately by sending a flurry of letters to prominent politicians in Luxembourg, i.a. PM Jean-Claude Juncker and Minister of Finance Luc Frieden.

One of the group’s interesting discoveries is that although financial regulation in Luxembourg is, on paper, comparable to other EU countries, the enforcement lags far behind. The result seems to be that if things go sour, as in these investments, the CSSF allegedly is not there to protect the interests of investors. The feeling is that Luxembourg is a country where the interests of the financial sector are seen to be best served by doing very little about eventual rogue elements.

This attitude of the CSSF will not come as a great surprise to regular Icelog readers.* Icelog has earlier dealt extensively with the plight of a group of clients of Landsbanki Luxembourg to get authorities in Luxembourg take their complaints seriously. Complaints that both regard the dealings of the bank before its demise in October 2008 and also how the bank’s administrator has handled both complaints and these clients. This group has run into closed doors time and again. Only through the extremely diligent work of the Landsbanki Victim Action Group – at great cost, both pecuniary and emotional – is the group hopefully moving its case onward.

One of the most remarkable events in that whole saga was when the Luxembourg Prosecutor issued a press release to declare his support for the Landsbanki Luxembourg administrator, thereby alleging that the clients were seeking to avoid paying their debt. The fact that the State Prosecutor saw fit and proper to give his support to an administrator of a private company puts Luxembourg in a league of its own among EU countries.

The banking collapse in Cyprus has led the attention to other financial centers in small economies, such as Luxembourg. It seems that much of the shady money, previously nesting in banks in Luxembourg, has not gone back to countries of their owners, such as Russia, but is seeking shelter in other offshore places, Luxembourg being one of them. It seems that ties between Russian and Luxembourg might be strengthening.

The fact that the Luxembourg media and international media is now reporting more on irregularities in Luxembourg increases the hope that the Luxembourg finance sector will at long last operate under the rules and regulations as should be the standard in the EU. Though Luxembourg certainly is not the only country with questions to answer regarding its finance sector, it still seems too difficult for clients of the very potent financial sector to seek justice in cases of alleged irregularities and outright fraudulent behaviour.

*Here is one log on Landsbanki Luxembourg; here are logs related to “equity release” loans, which are at the core of the Landsbanki Luxembourg saga. A log on the CSSF and the Icelandic banks.

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Written by Sigrún Davídsdóttir

May 20th, 2013 at 11:21 pm

Posted in Iceland

Landsbanki Luxembourg victims’ website

with 4 comments

Icelog has earlier dealt extensively dealt with the saga of the Landsbanki Luxembourg equity release loans. As pointed out there seem to be good reasons to question both how Landsbanki dealt with its customers before its demise in October 2008 and then later how the administrator has allegedly dealt with these loans, as well as ignoring questions regarding the Landsbanki Luxembourg operations.

The clients, mostly elderly people, have shown great resilience in drawing attention to questions seeking answers but the authorities in Luxembourg have not been too keen in taking up the issues raised by the group. One of many remarkable events was when the Luxembourg Prosecutor went out of his way to issue a press release defending the administrator, i.a. by throwing doubt on the victims’ motives, though he did not publish any tangible proof for these allegations.

As reported earlier, the group has now sought legal assistance and is seeking ways how best to proceed with their claims. The group has now open a website with all relevant information, contact details etc.

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Written by Sigrún Davídsdóttir

February 24th, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Posted in Iceland

Landsbanki Luxembourg clients raise complaints in Luxembourg – updated with a video

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At a press conference today, a group of almost 200 clients of Landsbanki Luxembourg in Spain and France raised complaints against the bank, because of its equity release lons and its administrator, Yvette Hamilius, for not investigating what went on in the bank prior to its default. A Brussel-based lawyer, Bernard Maingain, discussed the complaints, most of which Icelog has already written about earlier.

The action taken by the group is both aimed at the Landsbanki Luxembourg operations and the administrator. As Maingain pointed out today, the Landsbanki operations raise many questions – such as if the equity release loans were put together in such a way that they would never make the money promised, if they were mis-sold, if Landsbanki really had the license to operate in Spain and France. It is part of an administrator’s duty to investigate any possible irregularities prior to the failure of the company administrated.

Tomorrow, these claims will be presented in Luxembourg. This is just the beginning of a case, which no doubt will run for a while. The interesting thing is that here Luxembourg is being challenged on its supervision of its gigantic banking sector – the lifeblood of this tiny Duchy. But as representatives of the group said today, they are seeking nothing but justice from Luxembourg.

It will be interesting to see how easy it is to seek justice in a bank-related case in a country utterly and completely at the mercy of its banking sector.

*Here is a video link, in English but mostly in French, on the Landsbanki Luxembourg action, made last week during the press conference in Brussels, with interviews with some Landsbanki clients. 

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Written by Sigrún Davídsdóttir

November 28th, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Posted in Iceland

Where is the EU consumer protection when it comes to banking, especially in Luxembourg?

with 8 comments

Icelog has earlier told stories of Landsbanki Luxembourg and equity release loans sold by the bank in France and Spain.

The remarkable thing is that although those who bought the product have good reasons to feel that that Landsbanki Luxembourg missold the loans, mismanaged the accompanying investments and miscalculated the loan cover ratio (in early Sept. 2008, a month before the bank collapse), the administrator has not been willing to discuss these matters with the clients. Since no reports regarding the administrator’s work can be found on-line (contrary to ia the operations of winding-up boards of the collapsed banks in Iceland), it’s not clear how and in what way the administrator has fulfilled normal duties to investigate if the bank took any actions before the collapse that might be either illegal or should be repealed.

In addition, the equity release clients have been frustrated by the wholly opaque and, what has at time, seemed arbitrary operations of the administrator. The clients have ia had varying and inconsistent information as to the status of their loans. Yet, no authority in Luxembourg – such as the Luxembourg financial services, CSSF or the Luxembourg Central Bank – seems to have paid any attention of a) what went on in Landsbanki Luxembourg before its demise b) the operations of the administrator. In this tiny country that lives of banking, the authorities don’t show any interest in knowing what really is going on in Luxembourg banks.

As to the assets, the Landsbanki Winding-up Board has now taken them over. The WuB has not been willing to answer questions regarding what they know about the Landsbanki Luxembourg operations before or after the collapse. The unusual position of the Landsbanki Luxembourg estate is that there are essentially only two creditors: the Landsbanki Iceland estate, now run by the Winding-up board and the Luxembourg Central Bank.

As mentioned earlier on Icelog there are two important events concerning Landsbanki Luxembourg: a court case in Spain and actions taken in France by a French judge.

A court in Spain has ruled in one case that the Landsbanki Luxembourg was illegal, awarded the borrow compensation – but because the case is being appealed these borrowers are still kept in agony.

In France, Judge Van Ruymbeke* is investigating the Landsbanki Luxembourg operations and has seized some properties belonging to Landsbanki Luxembourg clients – in order to prevent the Landsbanki Luxembourg administrator from confiscating the properties against loans she claims are in default.

In spring, the Luxembourg State prosecutor took the extraordinary step to issue a press release in support of the said administrator – although a) the prosecutor had not, judging from the press release, investigated the matter b) had not been asked to investigate it and c) had, as far as could be judged from the press release, nothing to rely on but information from the said administrator. Quite extraordinarily, the prosecutor makes the claim that a small number clients, complaining about the operations of the administrator, are only people who are trying to evade repaying their loans.

The fact that a State prosecutor steps forward to defend in this way an administrator of a private company, is I believe unheard of in any country claiming to be run by the rule of law.

What makes this case particularly poignant is that many of these clients, who now have lived with the threats of being evicted from their homes, are elderly people who thought they were securing their later years in a sensible way by taking out these loans. There are many and various European and domestic schemes to protect consumers and bank clients. So far, none of these seem to have worked for the clients of Landsbanki Luxembourg in Spain and France.

*Judge Renaud van Ruymbeke has a formidable track record in investigating huge and high-profile corruption cases. He worked with Eva Joly – who advised the Icelandic Special Prosecutor when the office was set up – on the Elf case where ministers and politicians were convicted to prison sentences and has run big investigations such as the Clearstream 2 case and French investigations into the Madoff fraud. 

Update to clarify the legal standing of an administrator in Luxembourg: a judge appoints an administrator and all actions have to be accepted by this judge. In the case of the Landsbanki Luxembourg administration the presiding judge is Karin GuillaumeAs far as I understand, the judge is therefor also responsible for the actions taken by an administrator appointed by the judge.

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Written by Sigrún Davídsdóttir

October 18th, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Posted in Iceland

A legal break for Landsbanki Luxembourg clients in France

with 29 comments

A recent ruling in a French court spells out that while a case against Landsbanki Luxembourg for wrongful selling of its products is ongoing in France, Landsbanki Luxembourg cannot pursue its recovery of these loans. Over 80 clients in France of Landsbanki Luxembourg brought a civil case in France against Landsbanki, represented by Yvette Hamilius, for wrongful presentation of its loans. In a ruling July 13, Judge Renaud van Ruymbeke ruled that the recovery could not continue as long as this case is ongoing.

As Icelog has pointed out earlier, so many of the Landsbanki Luxembourg clients with equity release loans and often some investments found that incomprehensibly their assets fell just below the value, which demanded they added assets so as to cover 110% of the value. This put many of them in arrears, meaning that the Landsbanki Luxembourg administrator started threatening to sell their houses and has indeed sent the bailiffs out.

This French ruling gives them some hope that the selling of the loans, events at Landsbanki before its demise and the consequent actions of the administrator will be clarified.

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Written by Sigrún Davídsdóttir

July 23rd, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Posted in Iceland