BARON David de Rothschild has answered questions in relation to an expat fraud case in Spain.
The multi-millionaire banking scion has denied any knowledge of the complex case that saw over 100 mostly British pensioners lose millions in an equity release scheme.
It has just been revealed that he has replied in writing to a court in Alicante over NMR Rothschild’s alleged involvement in the mis-selling of €70 million worth of Credit Select Series Mortgage Loans.
It comes after Marbella lawyer Antonio Flores helped dozens of British pensioners mount a class action against the Rothschild enterprise.
They believe that it misleadingly led them to invest in the product, which was billed as a legal way to evade Spanish inheritance tax.
But it in fact put them in danger of losing their houses.
In a 17-page response sent by the French aristocrat to the court, Rothschild insisted that he ‘did not know’ about the product, which was sold to some 130 parties with mortgages worth around €600,000.
“I was not personally involved in the contracts”, he wrote in French.
“I have been told from NMR (NMR Rothschilds & Sons) that it has never proposed investment funds linked to the contracts of those loans.”
Rothschild insisted loans were given to “individuals who had a property that was not subject to any mortgage, who claimed to have other assets and who were expatriates but that mortgage was never to reduce the inheritance tax.”
He also denied ‘personally’ knowing Stephen Dewsnip, who was named as one of the main players in the scheme in Spain.
Lawyer Flores, who has been working on the case since 2015, has refuted Rothschild’s testimony.
“I find it shocking that the man who’s a boss in a bank doesn’t know about what was going on with one of his companies in Spain or anything about the product that was being sold there”, he said.
“It’s just not believable to me.
“The document now has to be officially translated into Spanish for the court before judges there can read his reply.
“They will then decide whether to press ahead with the charge and conduct a proper trial or drop the matter.”
The Rothschild group today insisted to the Olive Press that the Baron had ‘no personal involvement’ in the case.
“At the request of the Spanish authorities, and in accordance with standard disclosure requirements, Baron David de Rothschild provided information to the French authorities in relation Rothschild’s Spanish mortgage book. At no time has Baron David de Rothschild had any personal involvement in the provision of mortgages in Spain.”
A spokesman added: “Rothschild provided a small number of mortgages that were secured on properties in Spain. The money was used by the customers to fund their own investments. The customers were separately advised on their investments by independent financial advisers. Rothschild is not responsible for that investment advice, and has at all times acted in compliance with its legal and regulatory obligations.”