March 24, 2009 at 10:08 am #54849
The petition arrived at the Bank’s Head Office in Madrid on 17th February. To date I have not received so much as an acknowledgement.
What can I say?
I will attempt to contact all those who provided me with an e-address over the next couple of days.
March 24, 2009 at 12:07 pm #90975
My mail has just arrived. In it I have received a letter from Andrew Duff, the leader of the Liberal Democrat MEPs in the EP. He has been supporting our petition and wrote to the Governor on our behalf. Enclosed in his letter is the reply he received from the Secretary General of the BoS, Jose Antonio Alepuz. It reads:
Dear Mr. Duff,
I hereby acknowledge receipt of your letter dated March 5, 2009 urging favourable consideration on petitions submitted to Banco de Espana regarding the alleged failure of Spanish banks to honour bank guarantees (avales bancarios) granted in relation to real estate purchase agreements between construction companies and/or developers as sellers and UK citizens as purchasers. Please allow me to clarify a couple of points:
Firstly, Banco de Espana has no supervisory power over construction companies, builders or developers. Its regulatory powers are limited to banks in order to ensure compliance with a set of rules and prudential regulations dealing with bank solvency and liquidity. Subsequently, it has no authority to enforce the law that regulates payments made to the builders during construction (Law 57/1968). Rules or agreements governing escrow accounts or bank guarantees, and related claims brought by bank customers, are outside the scope of our enabling statute and, therefore, any claim or dispute between the parties – including grantors – arising in connection with the enforcement of real estate purchase agreements, must be filed before the competent Court of Justice.
Secondly, as regards the petitions mentioned in your letter, they have been always re-directed to Banco de Espana’s Complaints Service i.e. The Spanish equivalent of the UK’s Financial Ombudsman Service. So far, they have in fact received only three complaints filed by UK citizens in 2008. All of them were dismissed for breach of procedural rules (lack of previous claim before the relevant bank customer’s assistance department). Since the Complaints Service is not part of the Judiciary, its reports are not binding and rather vested with a sort of witness expert evidence effect. In spite of the non-binding effect, Spanish banks tend to proceed voluntarily in accordance with the report in most cases.
I hope that the above clarifies the position of Banco de Espana and the role it can play in this matter.
So, that’s all right then.
The fact that we were petitioning not about individual cases but about the corruption surrounding the processes concerning BGs seems to have completely bypassed them.
Andrew Duff, in his reply to me, says:
‘In light of this response, it is difficult to see where complaints can be addressed with any hope of success.’ And I agree.
But, looking in a different direction, it may be that some encouragement can be found in this quotation when taken in context from:
MEPs in the committee take the view that persons who “in good faith” have bought property in Spain which has been declared illegal should have the right to appropriate compensation through the Spanish courts. Nevertheless, “developers that have entered into contracts, the unlawfulness of which they should have been aware of, ought not be entitled to compensation”.
This will be voted on on Thursday.
March 24, 2009 at 12:39 pm #90976
once again it looks like a document that was considered a legal safety net is pretty well worthless in reality. Like many contracts, just a farce that leads to long and costly court battles just to get back what is rightly yours anyway. What a complete sham!
March 24, 2009 at 3:47 pm #90981
Roots: You should be asking Mr Duff, to perhaps focus on the Banks guarantee and not other issue about contracts, constructions etc.
The, BOE representative is right in saying that he does not have the power to get invoved in matters outside his remit. I don’t know what Mr Duff wrote, but it seams that he gave enough lee way for the BOE representative to hijack the subject matter.
March 24, 2009 at 4:50 pm #91002
On the contrary, Andrew Duff wrote very much to the point of the petition. The BoS have not replied directly to ANY of the issues he raised. Instead they have written their weasel words in an attempt to avoid taking any responsibility for anything.
March 24, 2009 at 6:00 pm #91008
So what does Mr Duff, suggest. Is is going to write again to get the answer to his questions & not the waffle that he received.
March 26, 2009 at 2:21 pm #91090
Looking at this letter from the Secretary General, in my opinion it is just a standard letter sent out to anyone with a complaint. He probably sends out the same letter each month by the hundreds.
I believe the second paragraph starting with: Secondly, as regards the petitions mentioned in your letter…. – the word petitions probably replaced the word complaints just to make it look a bit tailor-made.
All big departments/institutions do it. It’s called the SBL (standard bog letter), which they tinker around with the odd word to make it look personalised.
March 26, 2009 at 5:20 pm #91103
Charlie, so much cynicism & you are only sixteen.
March 26, 2009 at 6:31 pm #91107
Shakeel……I wish. 🙁
Actually I must have had too much caffein when I wrote that post. It’s not the SBL…..it’s a BSL……bog-standard letter.
The letters BS can also stand for the other obvious but ideal meaning.
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