14 October 2011
BANK GUARANTEES IN SPAIN ACTION GROUP
Highlighting Spanish Off-Plan Property Bank Guarantee Issues : Demanding Action
SUBJECT: SPANISH GOVERNMENT PROPERTY ROAD SHOW
PHASE TWO – 13 OCTOBER 2011 – AT OPP LIVE – ExCel –
BEATRIZ CORREDOR – SPANISH SECRETARY OF STATE
FOR HOUSING DELIVERS KEY NOTE SEMINAR SPEECH
AND ATTEMPTS TO EXPLAIN WHY NOW IS THE RIGHT
TIME TO INVEST IN THE SPANISH REAL ESTATE MARKET.
HOWEVER SHE FAILS TO ACKNOWLEGE THAT ANY
PROBLEMS EXIST WITH PREVIOUS PURCHASERS
POST SEMINAR DRINKS RECEPTION MARRED DUE TO
ANGRY EXCHANGES BETWEEN VICTIMS OF SPANISH
PROPERTY ABUSE AND SPANISH SECRETARY OF
STATE BEATRIZ CORREDOR
MARTA ANDREASEN MEP HAS FRANK EXCHANGE WITH
BEATRIZ CORREDOR AT POST SEMINAR DRINKS
BANK GUARANTEE ACTION GROUP ATTENDS FOLLOW
UP MEETING WITH SPANISH GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS
FROM THE HOUSING MINISTRY
BEATRIZ CORREDOR REFUSES TO MEET PERSONALLY
WITH THE BANK GUARANTEES ACTION GROUP
Phase 2 of the Spanish Government Property Road Show arrived in London
Docklands yesterday where the ‘main event’ was a 30 minute ‘key note’ speech
from Beatriz Corredor, Spain’s Housing Minister.
The Road Show, which was part of the Property & Investor Show OPP Live,
consisted of a Spanish Government stand in the centre of the exhibition hall
around which 12 Government approved companies were provided with individual
podiums to market their real estate portfolios.
Throughout the day the Spanish area was fairly quiet and there was not much
evidence of prospective purchasers for Spanish Property. However, a number of
victims of various Spanish Property Abuses did make the exhibitors aware of their
At one point in the early afternoon it seemed as though many of the Spanish Real
Estate exhibitors had gone for lunch as most of the podiums were empty.
KEY NOTE SPEECH
At 3:15pm Beatriz Corredor delivered her ‘key note’ speech in a small seminar
room screened off from the main exhibition hall. The audience of around 70
people was made up of trade guests, individual investors, Spanish Government
Embassy Officials and a number of victims of property abuse in Spain.
The audience was provided with copies of the Spanish Government publication
‘How to buy a home in Spain – Step by Step Guide’.
Beatriz Corredor was introduced by the Spanish Ambassador to the UK, Sr. Carles
Casajuana. He advised the audience that instead of a question and answer
session at the end of the seminar Beatriz Corredor would host a drinks reception
where the audience could enjoy some Spanish Wine.
Her speech lasted for around 30 minutes and she explained how this was now the
optimum time to invest in Spanish Property due to the falling property prices, IVA
reduction on new properties, Land Registry searches now available in English and
the transparency and legal security available to purchasers. Significantly the
Minister failed to acknowledge that there were any problems within the Spanish
real estate sector.
DRINKS RECEPTION & CHALLENGE FROM MARTA ANDREASEN MEP
At the end of the seminar the audience was then taken to the drinks reception
hosted by Beatriz Corredor and the Spanish Government.
The drinks reception was marred by some angry exchanges between Beatriz
Corredor and victims of Spanish Property Abuse. Sra. Corredor attempted to
defend the Spanish Real Estate Sector and together with the Spanish Ambassador
they denied there were any major problems.
Marta Andreasen MEP who had flown into London specially to attend the seminar
in support of the victims of property abuse also challenged Beatriz Corredor at
the drinks reception. http://www.martaandreasen.com/?p=1011
Marta Andreasen comments: “It didn’t take me long to introduce myself to
the Minister and have a conversation with her. I shall describe it as
‘frank and passionate’, with the conversation both in English and Spanish
attracting attention from many around.
Mrs Corredor quite clearly lives on another planet. She refused to
acknowledge the problems there have been and continue to be with
people who have invested in Spain. Through her denial, she is unwilling
to help those who have suffered and I question whether she even cares
given there’s an election in Spain in a few weeks time”
REFUSAL BY MINISTER TO ATTEND MEETING
Keith Rule coordinator of the Finca Parcs Action Group and organizer of the Bank
Guarantees in Spain Petition says: “After listening to the Seminar from our front
row seats, it was obvious they did not want us anywhere near Beatriz
Corredor. Immediately the seminar ended myself and two other
representatives of the Bank Guarantees In Spain Petition, Mike Kerr and Reg
Matthews were taken for a pre-arranged meeting with two senior members
of Beatriz Corredor’s team.
We asked Beatriz Corredor to join the meeting but she refused. The meeting
which was a follow up to our first meeting held during the first phase of the
Road Show at the Spanish Embassy in May lasted for around 75 minutes and
at times became rather heated due to the serious nature of the subject
The meeting was arranged to discuss the wider issue of Bank Guarantee Abuse
including circumstances where developers and banks failed to issue the legally
required Bank Guarantees and where Banks were refusing to honour Bank Guarantees
for no legitimate legal reason.
COMPLAINT TO THE BANK OF SPAIN
Keith continues: “After reaching the end of the complaints procedure with Caja
de Ahorros del Mediterráneo (CAM) the Bank who accepted our off-plan
deposits at Finca Parcs we then forwarded our complaint to the Valencian
Savings Ombudsman who advised us that the complaint was ‘out of their
remit’ and then referred us to the Bank of Spain. We submitted our
complaint and dossier of evidence to the Banco de España on 12 October
2010. The complaint was not only in relation to the Finca Parcs/CAM
situation but it also criticized the Banco de España for their lack of
supervision with regards to the wider issue of Bank Guarantee Abuse.
The Banco de España notified us in writing on 3 January 2011 that they had
accepted our complaint into their system. We have not heard from them
since. We took this matter up with the Spanish Government at our meeting
in May and were now looking for some information on the progress of our
complaint. Unfortunately Beatriz Corredor’s team was unable to give us any
Keith says: they told us: ‘Sra. Corredor has personally contacted the Governor
of the Bank of Spain but we are still waiting for an answer with regards to
your complaint. The Bank of Spain is independent and we as a Government
cannot tell them what to do. You must make a complaint to the Defensor del
Pueblo regarding the lack of response from the Bank of Spain. We will also
continue to chase them on your behalf’
Keith adds: ”We have now demanded a meeting with the Bank of Spain and
Beatriz Corredor’s team has assured us that although they are unable to
instruct the Bank of Spain to meet with us they will support us with our
LAND REGISTRY SEARCHES – INNACURATE AND INCOMPLETE
At the meeting we also challenged many of the things said by Beatriz
Corredor during her 30 minute seminar.
We highlighted the fact that the information provided by the Spanish Land
Registry was inaccurate and we had with us copies of recent Land Registry
Searches for a property that was demolished in 2008, two other properties
that were issued with demolition notices in 2009 and a property that was
subject to Land Grab. The Land Registry searches did not make any
reference to these very serious issues.
The officials attempted to defend the Land Registry system which is all part
of their claim that the system now offers legal security and transparency by
saying that “The English translation system for the Land Registry was only
introduced in July this year and it would take a little time to be accurate.
They said ‘we have to start somewhere”. We then gave them evidence of the
fact that the documents we were referring to were actually in Spanish from
the Spanish Land Registry search and not from the new English system.
“We insist that buying a house in Spain has always been safe.” Beatriz Corredor
Spanish secretary of state for housing
During a recent interview with the BBC’s Sarah Rainsford, Beatriz Corredor said
“We insist that buying a house in Spain has always been safe”. When
pressed further on this issue she conceded, “Those who have had problems
are on the path to a solution”
Keith challenges the statement from Beatriz Corredor: ”This statement is
completely untrue. If as the Minster says, buying a house in Spain has
always been safe, then why are so many people suffering from issues
such as Land Grab, Demolition Orders, Ley de Costas and Bank Guarantee
Abuse? I am shocked that she can continue to make such inflammatory
and insensitive statements. If we are now on a ‘path to a solution’ the
least we deserve is to be told just how long that path is.
Sra. Corredor must understand that now is the optimum time to meet
with the victims and put in place measures to resolve the serious issues
that are still outstanding as a result of the complete lack of supervision
in the Spanish Real Estate Sector.
If the Spanish Government and Banco de España really want us to
believe that the Spanish Real Estate Sector is transparent and offers
legal security then they must stop papering over the cracks and act now
to resolve the outstanding issues.
Now is not the time for Sales Seminars and Road Shows; it is time for
some real action from the Spanish Government and Banco de España.
We are sick of hearing about the transparency and legal security on offer,
because all we have experienced and are still experiencing is the
complete opposite – corruption, fraud, negligence and continual denial.
The Spanish Government must immediately clean up the property sector,
take action to resolve the property abuses, give more power to the Banco
de España to make them an effective supervisor of the Banks and ensure
that the Law relating to off-plan property purchases, LEY 57/68 is
enforced in all cases both past and present.
We have made it clear to the Spanish Government that we will not go
away and that will continue to fight to recover our money that should
have been protected by the inalienable rights granted to us by Spanish
Law, LEY 57/68”
Mike Kerr who was also present at the meeting comments: “I was disappointed
that I was not allowed to speak directly to Beatriz Corredor. As I
approached her she turned her back on me and walked away. We have
made the Spanish Government fully aware of the fraudulent actions of
the Spanish Banks but are surprised that they still refuse to intervene to
change their behaviour. By failing to take action it could be said that they are
condoning the fraudulent activity of the banks”