Mortgage rate swaps have become Bankinter’s nightmare


By Capital Madrid | After thousands of Spaniards marched last week throughout the country under the banner of alleged bank abuses, the hunt continues with legal action against one of the products entities often used during the bubble years: the interest rate swaps, also called ‘clips’.

Bankinter recently gained one more adverse sentence, which brought its naughty account to 162. The local court number 8 in Madrid declared the nullity of the Clip Hipotecario Óptimo (CHO) that the bank sold to an individual client. Now Bankinter will have to repay €8109.74.

As usual, it was incomplete information that the bank took advantage of. In fact, in most cases, mortgage swaps were sold as insurance against fluctuations in rates, when in truth they are financial engineering products only experts can understand. These ‘clips’ were definitely not adequate for the average consumer.

The ruling states that the bank breached the duty of accessibility, since it withheld information about what the appropriate time for the employment of this product would be or the amount of the losses buyers might suffer in case of downturns. Therefore, Bankinter failed almost all the obligations that a bank undertakes in a contractual relationship with a client.

The CEO of the company Maria Dolores Dancausa recently in a statement to the press blamed the politicians and the media:

“to speak ill of banks sells a lot,” she said.

About the Author

The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.

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