By Wendy Williams
VICTIMS of illegal equity release schemes are forming an association to prevent Scandinavian banks ‘robbing’ expats of their property.
Euan Armstrong, who the Olive Press reported is taking Danske Bank to court after it convinced him to use his two million euro Malaga home as collateral, has now teamed up with fellow expat Ian Sherdley, 69, to form the Equity Release Victims Association.
“We are forming an association to prevent these banks from robbing expats of their property by offering a pile of cash as part of an investment plan,” explained Armstrong, 73, who lives in Marbella.
“Equity release is not safe and a loan against the property with the idea of hiding the money in an offshore account or removing the money from the value of the property is certainly illegal in Spain.”
Sherdley, 69, from Lancashire, who has lost a staggering 2.5 million euros through a similar scheme with Nordea Bank SA, added: “These banks are just trying to fill their coffers. So now we are working on getting a legal voice to pursue them through the criminal courts.”
The pair are being backed in their venture by lawyer Antonio Flores from the Marbella based firm Lawbird.
“The purpose of the association is to support people through their predicament,” Flores explained.
“Equity release is actually killing people, through such degrees of stress. Their livelihoods are being reduced and in some cases their lifespan.
“We have decided to do something.”
Now Armstrong and Sherdley are calling on other victims – believed to run into the hundreds – to stand up and fight these huge financial institutions.
“We ask everybody to join us who has or is suffering a similar rape and pillage from a Scandinavian Bank,” said Armstrong.
“Do not lie down but stand up and fight them.
“These banks are making billions of euros every year and stealing your money.”
When questioned both banks said they were unable to comment on individual cases.