The Supreme Court has ratified the conviction against Banc Sabadell that obliges the entity to return to a client in respect of damages and losses more than one million euros paid as a result of the negative settlements caused by a mortgage swap signed in the year 2008.
The ruling reaffirms the prior assessment of the Court of First Instance No. 2 of Sabadell and the Provincial Court of Barcelona, considering that, despite being a “purely speculative” product, the information on its nature offered by the entity was so deficient that caused the client “to be in the mistaken belief that she had been offered and was underwriting, coverage of the rise in the interest rate, linked to financing through loans granted by the entity itself, in its capacity as a regular client, and because of the relationship of trust with the employees, and not an interest rate swap operation “.
The swap offered by Banco Sabadell to its client was linked to the subscription of five mortgage loans requested to pay the inheritance tax generated by an inheritance. The mortgages formalized also included a floor clause and, when the client urged their withdrawal, the bank forced the client to sign a document waiving future legal claims, including those referring to the mortgage swap.
The so-called mortgage swaps are extremely complex and high-risk financial products that numerous entities offered to their clients -more than 200,000 in the whole of the State- mainly between 2006 and 2008, coinciding with a period of successive increases and high instability of the Euribor. The ‘swaps’, also called ‘collars’ or ‘clips’, According to other Anglo-Saxon denominations, were offered on most occasions under the false guise of insurance against future increases in the Euribor in such a way that it was passed on to customers that the ‘swap’ would force the entity to return the amounts that were generated if the Euribor exceeded certain levels. On the contrary, the clients were not told that otherwise, if the Euribor fell, they would be the ones who should financially compensate the entity through large additional payments. Not by chance, as of 2008, when the entities stopped aggressively marketing this type of product that Community legislation does not consider suitable for retail clients without investment experience, Euribor began a historical chain of decline which has led us to the current situation, with the Euribor even reaching negative values.
As explained by Col·lectiu Ronda, the office that has defended the case, the ‘swap’ linked to five mortgage loans forced the affected client to compensate the entity by paying negative settlements whenever the Euribor was below the 6.10%. A possibility that materialized the same year in which the canceled swap was signed, since already in 2008 the Euribor fell to 5.39% and began a drastic and continued decline until it stood at 0.67% in February 2010.