Belgian prosecutor wants Citibank to repay 'duped' savers
Prosecutors in Belgium want US lender Citibank to pay back EUR 128 million to Belgian customers who claim they were duped into buying high-risk financial products from failed investment bank Lehman Brothers.Brussels - Prosecutors in Belgium want US lender Citibank to pay back 128 million euros to Belgian customers who claim they were duped into buying high-risk financial products from failed investment bank Lehman Brothers, media reports said Saturday.
Two leading business newspapers, L'Echo and De Tijd, reported the public prosecutor will argue Citibank's Belgian operations enticed clients with "false advertising" and "tricks" to convince them to swap their savings for high-risk products from the fallen Wall Street Bank.
The reports said the case will open on December 1 where prosecution will call on Citibank to reimburse the 4,000 clients affected with a total of EUR 128 million (USD 192 million) plus interest.
Calls to the public prosecutor's office seeking comment were not immediately returned.
Lehman Brothers collapsed on September 15, 2008, sending a jolt through financial markets and triggering instability in other banks worldwide.
The case in Brussels' civil tribunal was brought following by a complaint from an investors rights association, Deminor.
The aggrieved customers argue they received false or inaccurate information about the financial products they were sold.
Some 18,000 Belgian savers were hit by Lehman Brothers's collapse, losing close to EUR 325 million.