British expats have won a landmark case after a 6 year court battle with a Spanish bank.
The Fina Parcs Action Group pursued Caja de Ahorros del Mediterraneo through the Spanish courts after the 4th largest bank in Spain refused to return the expats’ investment in a property development.
As is common on the Spanish Costas these expats put a downpayment on an off plan apartment and, when the developers went out of business, the British expat investors were left in danger of losing out.
Caja de Ahorros del Mediterraneo was solely responsible for the financial aspect of the development. This included accepting the deposits, issuing the guarantee certificates and providing finance to the developers.
The problems arose when, after the developers disappeared, the required bank guarantees had still not materialised. It was this that the bank cited when refusing to refund the deposits to the British expat investors.
However, in the ruling in Helin, Spain the judge ruled against the developer and Caja de Ahorros del Mediterraneo, imposing a €1.5m payment to the expat group.
Spokesman for the expats Keith Rule said: "For far too long Spain has alienated the very people who once helped the country prosper.
"Now the Spanish Government must learn important lessons from this case. If these types of cases are dealt with in a fair and speedy manner then maybe some of those people who have been the victims of negligence and malpractice may once again have the confidence to invest in Spanish property.
"After all that is what Spain wants and more importantly, desperately needs."