30 May, 2011 @ 09:30
1 min read

Expat protest against Spanish bank

EXCLUSIVE by James Bryce

EXPAT customers of one of Spain’s leading banks are protesting over claims that it has misled them over their savings.

Michael Davenport, 61, insists he was lied to when he opened what he thought was a standard savings account at La Caixa’s Calahonda branch in 2007.

But when the businessman tried to access some of his savings three years later, he was told he would have to wait for at least another six years.

Indeed, scouring the small print, Davenport, originally from Cheshire, discovered that the money was tied up in mortgage bonds until 2016.

“And I was told that the only way I could access it was if someone bought the bonds on the secondary market, which would incur commission charges,” he told the Olive Press.

The father-of-one, who runs Davenport Investments in Calahonda, has now discovered that there are many others who have also lost out.

Various forums and a dedicated Facebook page is full of investors, who claim they have been similarly misled.

These include a 77-year-old woman who is not able to access her savings until 2017.

“I am amazed that they didn’t give us the full facts,” said Davenport. “I signed the paperwork in good faith. I didn’t have any reason to suspect that they would lie to my face.

“I think people need to be warned,” added Davenport, who is now protesting outside the bank each week.

A financial expert Gwilym Rhys Jones told the Olive Press: “These are sophisticated investment products designed for sophisticated investors. The customers should have been given the copy documents at the time of signing the contract.”

Last night La Caixa said: “We have a formal complaints procedure for customers to follow.”

Wendy Williams

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  1. No wonder the Spanish think all Brits are complete chumps. This man runs an investment company – unbelieveable and at the end of the article we have another chump – I don’t want to see a copy of the investment conditions at ‘the time of signing’ – I want to see it, take it home, study it in detail and if I see anything dodgy, go back and look the hustlers straight in the eye, or far more likely LOL whilst tearing the paper to pieces and throwing them in the bin.

    “I did’nt read the small print” – staggering – THE SMALL PRINT IS WHAT YOU READ FIRST. Would he still have invested if he had – A moron with only half it’s brain working could see that the whole Spanish housing market was crazy by 2002.

    I wonder how many Dutch or Germans got screwed like this?

  2. thats a bit harsh stewart , mike davenport runs a one man band estate agency on calahonda strip…. he is quite a decent bloke and would have acted in good faith … he never said he was a whizz kid investment banker.Im not sure but I dont think he even speaks spanish .

  3. Is it getting too hot or what? First a retired business man complains about not understanding liability issues(makes you wonder how he ever made it to sotogrande), now the is an investment expert who does not understand a simple fondo de inversion and claims he signed all in good faith? Please? Soon the PP wants to take over from PSOE. Scandals guaranteed, so keep some white space open.

  4. In terms of being a chump, Crawford, you take the biscuit. La Caixa is taking heavy flak from Spaniards who also listened to the nice man with a collar and tie. Do you have nothing better to do all day long than post smug and objectionable semi-literate insults. You would do far better to brush up on your spelling. Try reading a book or a better class of comic.

  5. Gresham,
    we all know you are an extreme right wing bigot- we’ve seen your posts.

    We all know how completely unworldly most Spanish are – remember how they bought into putting their ‘black money’ into stamps and how they got scammed for over €6 billion – all they had to do was go online and look at stamp prices but that was too simple.

    So you are an idiot (well that was no surprise) who believes what the ‘man in the nice suit and tie tells you’ LOL.

    Rule no.1 – never trust the man in a suit, he is only ever going to look after his own interests.

    louielou – act in good faith – we are talkimg money here – there is no such thing as ‘good faith’ in business – I doubt there ever was.

    You doubt he even speaks Spanish – I almost spilt my coffee all over the keyboard when I read that – how can you possibly sign a financial contract when you don’t speak the language and how can he work professionaly in a country whose language he does’nt speak fluently. You say he’s a one man band – you mean he does’nt employ a Spanish or fluent Spanish speaker to help him.

    Anon – the only other sensible poster – the more I read some of the responses to articles in the Olive Press, the more I understand why the Spanish think that all Brits are an easy touch.

  6. message to stuart crawford ….
    firstly ONE MAN BAND MEANS JUST THAT,…..ONE MAN ,(his wife is an eastern european i understand)

    I can think of several companies operating on the Costas where not one person speaks a word of Spanish ,perhaps I have survived and prospered because I speak the language however I have done many a deal here on a handshake and been sucessful……

  7. Whatever….it was a miss-sold policy.
    Rule of thumb…expect to be lied to and scammed out of your money by Spanish people in whatever profession or shop or whomever you are??
    Good luck Mike.
    Where does it say everyone you meet in business in Spain is a filthy lier and shopuld not be trusted.
    Barclays Branch, Los Barrios. they took money on 24th October last year from my account and POST DATED this to 29th. Then charged late payment fees!!!
    HQ has not replied to umpteen complaints.
    The branch manger Jose Manuel refuses to acknowledge the truth inspite of me having print out proof of transactions.
    Mortgage…was Euribor, is Euribor..but they charge Interbank rates and refuse to acknowledge even though it in contract.unbelievable thieving scumbags
    My advise to anyone ever contemplating business in Spain…do not TRUST anyone..in fact belueve they are out to rip you off which they are.
    Final example…agreed 20% down offer on house. my wife went to settle up and was taken for another 20%..they stitched the poor woman up…So enjoy the sun and trust no one.
    As its YOUR FAULT that you get ripped off as you are British and trustworthy having been brought up with integrity and manners….
    With openness and collectiveness the new way in business Spain is being left behind. It will be bankrupt this way and pull the rest of Europe down with it….it will not be forgiven easilly but it may need this to sort out this inherrent filthy corruption.
    I feel for you MIKE…GOOD LUCK with your campaign

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