Bank refuses to reimburse clients
The director of a bank that offered share lease products in the 1990s says that at the moment it does not intend to repay clients who lost money. Ben Knüppe, the chairman of the board of Dexia, says a recent Supreme Court ruling is not clear enough.The Netherlands - The director of a bank that offered share lease products in the 1990s says that at the moment it does not intend to repay clients who lost money. Ben Knüppe, the chairman of the board of Dexia, says a recent Supreme Court ruling is not clear enough.
In June the Supreme Council, the Netherlands' highest judicial authority, ruled that three banks had fallen short in their duty to protect their clients when offering share lease products.
The court found that Dexia, Levob and Aegon had not warned their clients about the risks involved in share lease investments. Nor did they established whether their clients were solvent.
Because they failed to establish solvency, the three banks were ordered to refund a part of the interest and instalments to those people unable to meet their obligations. At the time, Dexia said it was satisfied with the verdict. However, Knüppe now says the ruling is too abstract and offers too little to go on.
Ger van Dijk of the firm Leaseproces, which is representing the interests of those who lost money, agrees. This means that thousands of investors will very likely have to wait even longer for a settlement
Share lease products were very popular at the end of the 20th century. Investors were offered loans for buying shares, which in turn would serve as guarantees for the loans.
But when share values plummeted below the levels needed to service the loans, hundreds of thousands of investors found that they were obliged to finance huge debts.
Radio Netherlands / Expatica