Tag Archives: Sydbank

January 14th, 2012
Story by JULIE Hornbek TOFT AND PETER Nyholm | Finans Watch

Rich retirees have lost millions to invest through Danish banks on the Suncoast. We have been duped, they believe bank customers that Jyllands-Posten have met in Marbella. They have lost fortunes after the meeting with the crisis, local financial cowboys and Sydbank.

MARBELLA, SPAIN – Three times a week does she clean for some Britons in a house with nine guest rooms.

It was not like that, 61-year-old Mary Mould had planned his retirement on the coast. The plan was to sit back with their spouse here near Marbella.Sunburnt at the edge of the pool in a dream house, ready for the children visiting from England with additional bedrooms, four marble bathrooms, walk-in closet and everything else. But the house that Mary and her husband bought in 2002, they can not afford to live longer.

Mary Mould closes its off-white cardigan closer around him. The apartment, she and husband Eric today borrows from some friends, this is cool January day.

“I work so hard. Just think … And we lived in such a beautiful house. Oh dear, what should be one of us? “Since investment in Sydbank started to go bad, and the British couple had to move from their house, she woke up at five o’clock every morning, she says.

Eric Mould, 63, is more restrained. His extremely sunburned face is completely calm about the white shirt collar. And he is angry, because the couple has lost approx. 3 million. £ to invest through Sydbank Switzerland.

“The people from Sydbank has been inept. They talked only about making money, not about losing. They have been saying, “We’ve mastered it.” But our economy is desperate, “he said.
Lost life savings

The pair are among the many foreign retirees who mortgaged their one million houses to prevent the Spanish inheritance tax and make money by investing through Danish banks in Switzerland or Luxembourg. Since then, investment and housing prices plummeted, while debt has remained the same. And now they sit back with a house which they rent out to pay interest on a millionlån.

The story we hear often here in Marbella, where rich solpensionister flock, and where the main street is filled with banks and law firms.

It is the story of pensioners who lost their life savings because they were persuaded by the customer hungry banks to borrow against their house up the chimney and put the money in risky investments, they did not understand.

Or it is the story of rich, tax frightened pensioners who saw the opportunity to earn smart money bet and now the pipes, because they – like many other investors around the world – with smoke when the bottom went out of business in 2008.

Bank Customers’ lawyer oxen to get a case to court and trap banks for fraud and deceptive marketing, said the first. Banks will probably think the last one, but suffice to say that they have not broken any rules.

Financial cowboy

Eric and Mary Mould bought the house 200 meters from the beach in Puerto Banus – a high class marina a few miles west of Marbella, surrounded by golf courses – to 6.75 million. £ They were paid in cash.

They moved down here permanently a few years later, when Eric Mould quit his job as Marketing Manager in Essex. Back then they needed cash and wanted to pull some equity out of the house. In addition they would like to avoid Spanish inheritance tax on the house, in case you should happen them anything. And then they heard through some friends about David Driver.

David Driver has no desire to participate in this article, but his client says he is a tall man, who previously worked as a police officer in England. Here in Marbella, he works as a financial advisor in two-man firm Offshore Investment Brokers (OIB). Or Financial cowboy, as some say, because neither he nor the company has any authority to advise on the economy. The OIB brochure that Eric and Mary got in his hand, he advertises for a product that can “free up capital in your house.” It consists of an interest-only loans in housing equity withdrawal, which then put in a “secure, custom-designed and regulated portfolio; () structured to cover the loan repayment, income and expenses.” Moreover, says that the scheme may cut up to 100 per cent. of inheritance tax on property.

“Now you must not be silly”

David Driver was then hired by Sydbank Switzerland to find customers in its “target audience” in Spain and send them on. The employment contract states that the driver was paid when Sydbank ended a deal with a customer. It also says that the driver was not allowed to advise or explain the bank’s products, it should Sydbank do.

But it does not say how Driver then have to explain potential customers what Sydbank had to offer.

David Driver set up a meeting with Sydbank for Mould-mated in January 2007, they say. Eric Mould remember that the three Sydbankmedarbejdere who flew over from the branch in Switzerland, presented an investment product, Peerless Stable, which was expected to yield a return of 7 per cent. a year and where 75 per cent. the money was completely safe, while the rest were “low risk”. Sydbank later in a letter to Eric Mould denied that they have had or presented in such a product. In the sales material, the bank has designed a specified portfolio of proposals. Indicated a percentage risk by 30 percent. on investment.

The rest says nothing about. The prospectus for Peerless Stable described the risk as “medium”.

Mary remembers that she asked the three if their house would be at risk.

“They laughed and said,” No, you must not be silly, Mrs.. Mould. It’s not even talk about, ‘”she says. A guarantee that Sydbank in the same letter denies having given.

After two or three weeks had Eric and Mary Mould signed a loan from Nykredit of 8.7 million. £ It was 80 percent. of the building’s assessed value.Of those, they had to pull about 20 per cent. -Ie approx. 1.7 million. kr-out.After costs and fees were approx. 6.6 million. DKK invested in Sydbank Peerless Stable.

The couple never saw a return.

The kids do not know

Somewhat the same story telling Mr. and Mrs.. Smith, a British couple who will not have their names in the newspaper. The difference is that Smith-couple’s villa was more expensive, so they borrowed 10.5 million. million and invested the 8 million. million in February 2007. And then there’s also the difference that the couple – against Sydbank Switzerland’s own principles – not met the bank’s staff, before they signed the contracts.

All material they got from David Driver and Nykredit, they say.

The couple’s 400 square meter-large villa climbs up a hillside between Malaga and Marbella.
From all the house’s rooms and two pools, one can look out over the valley, the Mediterranean and in clear weather charts Africa out there. They do not live in the house now, but rents it out to pay interest on the loan. Mr. Smith has run up here in his SUV to show the Jyllands-Posten around. He is mid 60’s, has a narrow, tanned face and is wearing light jeans and cowboy boots. They bought the house in cash in 2005 when he quit his job in direct marketing.

They have even added the gym under the garage and pool number two, he explains on the tour, where he also asks me not to mention their first names.

“For the sake of our children, you understand. They do not know, “is the explanation.

Million-loss

Mr. Smith has been monitoring the investments, interest rates and debt.Letters from Sydbank and Nykredit are arranged in thick binders.

After 10 months they had lost approx. 640,000 kroner on Peerless Stable, he shows. And the portfolio has been in freefall since. Along the way, Smith-pair met several times with Sydbank Switzerland at a nearby hotel. The couple have tried various rescue operations.

Some suggestions came from David Driver, the unauthorized broker who sold them the product. Not because they trusted him, but because they were desperate, says the couple, who also entrusted Drivers offshore their company pension schemes.

Driver suggested them at a time to gear their remaining investments in order to obtain any return. A risky rate Sydbank refused. Shortly after, Driver fired Sydbank. Both Mould-paired and Smith believe it is because he warned people about investment loans. In the letter of termination from 2008 justifying Sydbank firing that David Driver and his colleague has advised customers to replace Sydbank products with other products.

Bond Caught

Back on the Smith account of Sydbank Switzerland is nearly 4.9 million.million, estimates Mr. Smith then an initial loss of £3.1 million.

Eric and Mary Mould expect that their investment account today, about 3 million. AUD worth – that is a loss of 3.6 million. £ Both couples say they can not sell their houses at a price that will cover the debt.

“We feel ripped off because it seemed like a no-brainer. Banks have speculated that exploit our trust. They have let David Driver sell the product to us and then backed it up with their names. We relied on the Danish banks. The only right is that the banks let the trades go back, “says Mr. Smith.

New hope with Antonio

Bank customers now have fastened their hopes on Antonio Flores, a young, closely cropped lawyer in Marbella, who tells them that what happened is illegal. The banks have defrauded and misled. And customers have a chance to win their money back. He is working on “no cure, no pay” basis and get 10 per cent. of everything he gets home to his clients. For more than a year he has worked hard to attract burned bank customers: blogged, written articles and been interviewed. Mary Mould heard him on the radio while she cleaned. She hurried to write down the number and got Eric to call him.

“He gives us hope. He is so positive, do not you think?, “She says.

So far, Flores received just over 40 bank customers into its fold. They come primarily from Danish banks and their history, he says, hardly distinguishable Sydbank / Nykredit customers.
So far he has not had luck with the case which has been rejected by two Spanish courts. But he claws on.

Sydbank have had the article to gennemlæsning.Banken did not want to comment on the content, but reserves the right to defend itself.

FACTS: Equity Release Package

  • Basically it’s about to invest money that you borrow in his house.
  • The Bank shall, via brokers, clients paid houses.
  • Nykredit belåner property in Spain (or France).
  • The money goes straight into Sydbank Switzerland, issuing guarantees to Nykredit in 25 -30 per cent. of loan principal.
  • The customer may want. get an overdraft of more than 20 per cent. of mortgage loan principal.
  • In Spain the inheritance tax is levied only by equity in real estate package therefore serves primarily the purpose of pulling money out of the house and into a Swiss bank.
  • Additionally hoped on that investment yielded more than the mortgage cost.

FACTS: The case in brief 

  • Jyllands-Posten has revealed that Sydbank subsidiary in Switzerland actively helped clients evade taxes in overseas.
  • Via Nykredit was possible customers in particular. a Spain offered a package that consisted of a loan in the equity in their luxury housing, which were invested through Sydbank Switzerland.
  • The model was bl. a marketed as a way to hide the values ​​of the Spanish tax authorities and a way to earn extra money.
  • This occurred despite the fact that Sydbank had Spanish banking license.
  • Several clients have lost millions on the product.
  • Also other Danish banks have been involved in similar models.
Original Article in Danish Below

Skyer over Solkysten

AF JULIE HORNBEK TOFT OG PETER NYHOLM; juliedothdottoftatjpdotdk  (juliedothdottoftatjpdotdk)   peterdotnyholmatjpdotdk  (peterdotnyholmatjpdotdk)  
Offentliggjort 14.01.12 kl. 09:45

Rige pensionister har tabt millioner på at investere gennem danske banker på Solkysten. Vi er blevet taget ved næsen, mener de bankkunder, som Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten har mødt i Marbella. De har mistet formuer efter mødet med krisen, lokale finansielle cowboys og Sydbank.

 

MARBELLA, SPANIEN – Tre gange om ugen gør hun rent for nogle briter i en villa med ni gæsteværelser.

Det var ikke lige sådan, 61-årige Mary Mould havde planlagt sit otium på Solkysten. Planen var at læne sig tilbage sammen med ægtefællen her nær Marbella. Solbrændt ved kanten af poolen i drømmehuset, klar til børnenes besøg fra England med ekstra soveværelser, fire marmorbadeværelser, walk-in-closet og alt det andet. Men huset, som Mary og hendes mand købte i 2002, har de ikke råd til at bo længere.

Mary Mould lukker sin råhvide cardigan tættere om sig. Lejligheden, hun og mand Eric i dag låner af nogle venner, er kølig denne januardag.

»Jeg arbejder så hårdt. Tænk bare… Og vi boede i sådan et smukt hus. Oh dear, hvad skal der ikke blive af os?« Siden investeringerne i Sydbank begyndte at gå dårligt, og det britiske par måtte flytte fra deres hus, er hun vågnet klokken fem hver morgen, fortæller hun.

Eric Mould, 63, er mere behersket. Hans ekstremt solbrændte ansigt er helt roligt over den hvide skjortekrave. Og så er han vred, for parret har tabt ca. 3 mio. kr. på at investere gennem Sydbank Schweiz.

»Folkene fra Sydbank har været uduelige. De talte kun om at tjene penge -ikke om at tabe. De er blevet ved med at sige, “Vi har styr på det”. Men vores økonomi er desperat,« siger han.

Tabte livsopsparinger

Parret er blandt de mange udenlandske pensionister, der belånte deres millionvillaer for at undgå den spanske arveskat og tjene penge på at investere gennem danske banker i Schweiz eller Luxembourg. Siden er investeringerne og huspriserne raslet ned, mens gælden er forblevet den samme. Og nu sidder de tilbage med et hus, som de lejer ud for at kunne betale renterne på et millionlån.

Den historie hører man ofte hernede i Marbella, hvor rige solpensionister flokkes, og hvor hovedgaden er fyldt med banker og advokatkontorer.

Det er historien om pensionister, der har mistet deres livsopsparing, fordi de blev overtalt af kundesultne banker til at belåne deres hus op til skorstenen og sætte pengene i risikable investeringer, de ikke havde forstand på.

Eller det er historien om rige, skatteforskrækkede pensionister, der øjnede muligheden for at tjene smarte penge, satsede og nu piber, fordi de – lige som mange andre investorer verden over – røg med, da bunden gik ud af markedet i 2008.

Bankkundernes advokat, der okser for at få en sag for en domstol og fælde bankerne for snyd og vildledende markedsføring, mener det første. Bankerne vil nok mene det sidste, men de nøjes med at sige, at de ikke har brudt nogen regler.

Finansiel cowboy

Eric og Mary Mould købte huset 200 meter fra vandet i Puerto Banus – en high class marina nogle kilometer vest for Marbella omgivet af golfbaner – for 6,75 mio. kr. De blev betalt kontant.

De flyttede herned permanent et par år senere, da Eric Mould kvittede jobbet som marketingschef i Essex. Dengang havde de brug for kontanter og ville gerne trække lidt friværdi ud af huset. Desuden ville de gerne undgå den spanske arveafgift på huset, hvis nu der skulle ske dem noget. Og så hørte de gennem nogle venner om David Driver.

David Driver har ikke ønsket at deltage i denne artikel, men hans klienter fortæller, at han er en høj mand, der tidligere arbejdede som politibetjent i England. Her i Marbella arbejder han som finansiel rådgiver i tomands-firmaet Offshore Investment Brokers (OIB). Eller financial cowboy, som nogen siger, for hverken han eller virksomheden har nogen form for autorisation til at rådgive om økonomi. I OIB’s brochure, som Eric og Mary fik i hånden, reklamerer han for et produkt, der kan “frigøre formuen i dit hus”. Det består af et afdragsfrit lån i husets friværdi, som så sættes i en “sikker, specialdesignet og reguleret portefølje; () struktureret til at dække tilbagebetaling af lånet, indkomst og omkostninger.” Desuden, står der, kan ordningen skære op til 100 pct. af arveafgiften på ejendommen.

»Nu må De ikke være fjollet«

David Driver var på det tidspunkt hyret af Sydbank Schweiz til at finde kunder i bankens “målgruppe” i Spanien og sende dem videre. I ansættelseskontrakten står der, at Driver blev betalt, når Sydbank sluttede en handel med en kunde. Der står også, at Driver ikke måtte rådgive eller forklare om bankens produkter, det skulle Sydbank selv gøre.

Men der står ikke, hvordan Driver så skulle forklare mulige kunder, hvad Sydbank havde at tilbyde.

David Driver satte et møde op med Sydbank for Mould-parret i januar 2007, siger de. Eric Mould husker, at de tre Sydbankmedarbejdere, der fløj over fra filialen i Schweiz, præsenterede et investeringsprodukt, Peerless Stable, der forventedes at give et afkast på 7 pct. om året, og hvor 75 pct. af pengene var helt sikre, mens resten var “lav risiko”. Sydbank har senere i et brev til Eric Mould afvist, at de har haft eller præsenteret sådan et produkt. I det salgsmateriale, banken selv har udformet, er et udspecificeret porteføljeforslag. Der er anført en procentuel risiko ved 30 pct. af investeringerne.

Resten står der ikke noget om. I prospektet for Peerless Stable betegnes risikoen som “medium”.

Mary husker, at hun spurgte de tre, om deres hus ville være i farezonen.

»De grinede og sagde, “Nej, nu må De ikke være fjollet, Mrs. Mould. Det er der slet ikke tale om”,« siger hun. En garanti, som Sydbank i samme brev afviser at have givet.

Efter to-tre uger havde Eric og Mary Mould underskrevet et lån hos Nykredit på 8,7 mio. kr. Det var 80 pct. af husets vurderede værdi. Af dem måtte de trække omkring 20 pct. -altså ca. 1,7 mio. kr. -ud. Efter omkostninger og gebyrer blev ca. 6,6 mio. kr. investeret i Sydbanks Peerless Stable.

Parret så aldrig et afkast.

Børnene ved det ikke

Nogenlunde samme historie fortæller Mr. og Mrs. Smith, et britisk par, der ikke vil havde deres fornavne i avisen. Forskellen er bare, at Smith-parrets villa var dyrere, så de lånte 10,5 mio. kr. og investerede de 8 mio. kr. i februar 2007. Og så er der også den forskel, at parret – stik imod Sydbank Schweiz’ egne principper – slet ikke mødte bankens personale, før de underskrev kontrakterne.

Alt materiale fik de fra David Driver og Nykredit, siger de.

Parrets 400 kvm-store villa klatrer op ad en bjergskråning mellem Malaga og Marbella.

Fra alle husets værelser og de to pools kan man se ud over dalen, Middelhavet og i klart vejr ane Afrika derude. De bor ikke i huset nu, men lejer det ud for at betale renter på lånet. Mr. Smith er kørt herop i sin firhjulstrækker for at vise Jyllands-Posten rundt. Han er midt i 60′ erne, har et smalt, solbrændt ansigt og er iført lyse jeans og cowboy-støvler. De købte huset kontant i 2005, da han kvittede sit job i direct marketing.

De har selv tilføjet fitnessrummet under garagen og pool nummer to, forklarer han på turen, hvor han også beder mig om ikke at nævne deres fornavne.

»Af hensyn til vores børn, forstår du. De ved det ikke,« er forklaringen.

Million-tab

Mr. Smith har holdt øje med investeringerne, renterne og gælden. Breve fra Sydbank og Nykredit er ordnet i tykke ringbind.

Efter 10 måneder havde de tabt ca. 640.000 kr. på Peerless Stable, viser han. Og porteføljen har været i frit fald siden. Undervejs har Smith-parret holdt flere møder med Sydbank Schweiz på et nærliggende hotel. Parret har prøvet forskellige redningsaktioner.

Nogle forslag kom fra David Driver, den uautoriserede mægler der solgte dem produktet. Ikke fordi de stolede på ham, men fordi de var desperate, forklarer parret, der i øvrigt også har betroet Drivers offshore-firma deres pensionsordninger.

Driver foreslog dem på et tidspunkt at geare deres tilbageværende investeringer for at indhente noget afkast. Et risikabelt sats, som Sydbank afslog. Kort efter blev Driver fyret af Sydbank. Både Mould-parret og Smith mener, at det er fordi, at han advarede folk om investeringslånene. I opsigelsesbrevet fra 2008 begrunder Sydbank fyringen med, at David Driver og hans kollega har rådet kunder til at erstatte Sydbank-produkter med andre produkter.

Bondefanget

Tilbage på Smith-kontoen i Sydbank Schweiz er knap 4,9 mio. kr., anslår Mr. Smith -altså et foreløbigt tab på 3,1 mio. kr.

Eric og Mary Mould regner med, at deres investeringskonto i dag er omkring 3 mio. kr. værd – altså et tab på 3,6 mio. kr. Begge par siger, at de ikke kan sælge deres huse til en pris, der vil dække gælden.

»Vi føler os bondefanget, for det virkede som en no-brainer. Bankerne har spekuleret i at udnytte vores tillid. De har ladet David Driver sælge produktet til os og så bakket det op med deres navn. Vi stolede jo på danske banker. Det eneste rigtige er, at bankerne lader handlerne gå tilbage,« siger Mr. Smith.

Nyt håb med Antonio

Bankkunderne har nu fæstet deres lid til Antonio Flores, en ung, tætklippet advokat i Marbella, der fortæller dem, at det, der er sket, er ulovligt. At bankerne har svindlet og vildledt. Og at kunderne har en chance for at vinde deres penge tilbage. Han arbejder på “no cure, no pay”-basis og får 10 pct. af alt, hvad han henter hjem til sine klienter. I mere end et år har han knoklet for at tiltrække brændte bankkunder: blogget, skrevet artikler og ladet sig interviewe. Mary Mould hørte ham i radioen, mens hun gjorde rent. Hun skyndte sig at skrive nummeret ned og fik Eric til at ringe til ham.

»Han giver os håb. Han er så positiv, synes du ikke?,« siger hun.

Indtil videre har Flores fået godt 40 bankkunder i sin fold. De kommer primært fra danske banker, og deres historie, siger han, ligner til forveksling Sydbank/ Nykreditkundernes.

Indtil videre har han dog ikke haft held med sagen, der er blevet afvist af to spanske retsinstanser. Men han klør på.

Sydbank har haft artiklen til gennemlæsning.Banken har ikke ønsket at kommentere indholdet, men forbeholder sig ret til at tage til genmæle.

 

Spansk advokat jagter danske banker

Juristen, der forelskede sig i pengene

Sydbank venter erstatninger til Solkysten-kunder 

 

 

FAKTA

 

Equity Release Package

 

Grundlæggende handler det om at investere for penge, man låner i sit hus.

Banken finder, via mæglere, kunder med udbetalte huse.

Nykredit belåner ejendom i Spanien (eller Frankrig).

Pengene ryger direkte over i Sydbank Schweiz, som udsteder garanti til Nykredit på 25 -30 pct. af lånets hovedstol.

Kunden kan evt. få en kassekredit på maks. 20 pct. af realkreditlånets hovedstol.

I Spanien svares kun arveafgift af friværdien i fast ejendom, pakken tjener altså først og fremmest det formål at trække penge ud af huset og over i en Schweizisk bank.

Derudover håbes der på, at investeringerne afkaster mere, end hvad realkreditlånet koster.

 

 

FAKTA

 

Sagen kort

 

Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten har afsløret, at Sydbanks datterselskab i Schweiz aktivt har hjulpet kunder med at unddrage skat i udlandet.

Via Nykredit blev mulige kunder i bl. a. Spanien tilbudt en pakkeløsning, der bestod af et lån i friværdien på deres luksusbolig, der så blev investeret gennem Sydbank Schweiz.

Modellen blev bl. a. markedsført som en måde at skjule værdier for spanske skattemyndigheder og en måde at tjene ekstra penge på.

Dette skete på trods af, at Sydbank ikke havde spansk banklicens.

Flere kunder har tabt millioner på produktet.

Også andre danske banker har været involveret i lignende modeller.

 

 

 

January 11th, 2012
Story by PETER Nyholm of JULIE Hornbek TOFT | Finans Watch

Nykredit played a key role in Sydbank tax-feint, and has also helped Jyske Bank’s customers at the Suncoast to borrow against their home equity. Minister of Taxation is now entering the case.

Several Danish banks as Sydbank been able to help foreign customers to optimize their succession through tax havens.

It would ceteris paribus good could be done to save a fortune that would otherwise appear as equity in their property, for example. Spain, via Jyske Bank, explains Jens Lauritzen, CEO of Jyske Bank’s foreign operations:

“We have also financed up to 100 per cent. Of a property value in some inherited cases. But it is not a product we have advised on – we have instead referred to the client’s lawyer or accountant. It is not a product that is good for all customers, and it’s only a few who are clients in Switzerland, where we have no duty to inform. “

Nordea does not reject

Jens Lauritzen says that Jyske Bank’s customers must sign that they will report their assets to the IRS. But does the customer home in the bank’s branch in Switzerland, the bank can not be sure that the customer actually does it.

“If this is so that customers are not telling the truth or cheat us, so it may seem that the authorities do not get the right information. But we have not actively sold these products,” says Jens Lauritzen.

In Nordea, which is taking over a part of Sydbank Swiss customers will not deny that one has been able to do something similar.

“Nordea does not comment on competitors’ practices. But generally, that Nordea advises clients under the rules that apply – it also includes the tax in the countries in which we operate,” says the press department.

Home equity on the Suncoast

As revealed in the newspaper Jyllands-Posten yesterday, Nykredit has provided mortgage loans to finance Sydbank tax feint in Spain, according to an internal mail to Sydbank CEO of Karen Frøsig primarily have been intended to reduce inheritance tax.

Now, says Nykredit that you have mortgaged home equity on the coast for more partners than Aabenraa Bank, including Jyske Bank. And you can not deny that money ended up in tax havens, explains Hanne Egaa, area director for International Lending.

“Customers are predisposing themselves to the money they get paid. We provide loans, but where the money is transferred to the mix, we are not in. But we report all our mortgages to the Danish tax authorities,” says Hanne Egaa.

Taxation in action

Now also Tax Möger Thor Pedersen (SF) into the proceedings:

“It is clear that my awareness increased if a large bank is proposing a maneuver in which the tax is due on the loan must be placed in a tax haven country with no accountability. If it is a widespread traffic in the financial sector, it is certainly something we will look more closely. “

Sydbank commented yesterday Jyllands-Posten’s unveiling. The message was that you do not have violated tax laws, but advised to optimize clients’ wealth by borrowing against equity in their properties and invest the proceeds.

Original Article in Danish below.

Flere banker arbejder i skattely

Af PETER NYHOLM of JULIE HORNBEK TOFT

Offentliggjort 11.01.12 kl. 06:45

Nykredit spillede en hovedrolle i Sydbanks skattely-finte og har også hjulpet Jyske Bank-kunder på Solkysten med at belåne deres friværdier. Skatteministeren går nu ind i sagen.

Flere danske banker har som Sydbank kunnet hjælpe udenlandske kunder med at optimere deres arveforhold via skattely.

Det ville alt andet lige godt kunne lade sig gøre at gemme en formue væk, der ellers ville fremstå som friværdi i ejendom i f.eks. Spanien, via Jyske Bank, forklarer Jens Lauritzen, direktør for Jyske Banks udenlandske aktiviteter:

“Vi har også finansieret op til 100 pct. af en ejendoms værdi i nogle arvesager. Men det er ikke et produkt, vi selv har rådgivet om – vi har i stedet henvist til kundens advokat eller revisor. Det er ikke et produkt, som er godt for alle kunder, og det er kun et fåtal, som er kunder i Schweiz, hvor vi ikke har indberetningspligt.”

Nordea afviser ikke

Jens Lauritzen oplyser, at Jyske Banks kunder skal skrive under på, at de vil indberette deres formueforhold til skattemyndighederne. Men hører kunden hjemme i bankens afdeling i Schweiz, kan banken ikke være sikker på, at kunden rent faktisk gør det.

“Hvis det er sådan, at kunderne ikke fortæller sandheden eller snyder os, så kan det forekomme, at myndighederne ikke får de rigtige informationer. Men vi har ikke aktivt solgt sådanne produkter,” siger Jens Lauritzen.

I Nordea, der er ved at overtage en del af Sydbanks Schweiz’ kunder, vil man ikke afvise, at man har kunnet gøre noget lignende.

“Nordea kommenterer ikke konkurrenters praksis. Men generelt gælder det, at Nordea rådgiver kunder i henhold til de regler, der gælder – det omfatter også skattereglerne i de lande, som vi opererer i,” lyder det fra presseafdelingen.

Friværdier på Solkysten

Som afsløret i Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten i går har Nykredit leveret realkreditlån til finansiering af Sydbanks skattefinte i Spanien, som ifølge en intern mail til Sydbank-topdirektør Karen Frøsig først og fremmest har haft til formål at reducere arveafgift.

Nu oplyser Nykredit, at man har belånt friværdier på Solkysten for flere samarbejdspartnere end Aabenraa-banken, herunder Jyske Bank. Og man kan ikke afvise, at pengene er endt i skattely, forklarer Hanne Egaa, områdedirektør for Nykredit International.

“Kunderne disponerer selv over de penge, de får udbetalt. Vi yder lån, men hvor pengene bliver overført til, blander vi os ikke i. Men vi indberetter alle vores realkreditlån til de danske skattemyndigheder,” siger Hanne Egaa.

Skatteminister i aktion

Nu går også skatteminister Thor Möger Pedersen (SF) ind i sagen:

“Det er klart, at min opmærksomhed skærpes, hvis en stor bank foreslår en manøvre, hvor skattelettelsen beror på, at lånet skal placeres i et skattelyland uden oplysningspligt. Hvis det er en udbredt trafik i finanssektoren, er det bestemt noget, vi vil se nærmere på.”

Sydbank kommenterede i går Jyllands-Postens afsløring. Meldingen var, at man ikke har overtrådt skattelovgivningen, men rådgivet i at optimere kundernes formueforhold ved at belåne friværdi i ejendomme og investere provenuet.

 

 

 

January 10th, 2012
Story by PETER NYHOLM og JULIE H. TOFT | Finans Watch

Large Spanish one million houses were mortgaged to Sydbank could sell investment services and pull money home to the Swiss banking subsidiary.Sydbank did not even have a Spanish bank license. But it did not prevent the bank from placing advertisements and pay for men to attract wealth from rich foreigners residing in such Spain Sydbank Switzerland with headquarters in the Alpine town of St. Gallen.

Velhaverne had persuaded the wisdom of borrowing against their houses one million low-interest mortgages through Nykredit Danish on Kalvebod Brygge in Copenhagen. The money from the loan was transferred to Sydbank Switzerland, which invested money. Customers with property in Spain and France were promised that the investments yielded a higher return than the mortgage cost in interest. It could therefore be an additional income.

But it was the reduction of payment of inheritance tax in Spain, which was the central cause of belåningsfinten, according to internal communication from Sydbank newspaper Jyllands Posten had access to. According to several sources with close knowledge of Swiss banking, this scam is only meaningful if one can hide his assets behind the Swiss banking secrecy.

Because when money is placed in Switzerland, is the customer’s responsibility to report their existence to the relevant tax authorities.

Inheritance

Tax Director Johnny Schaadt Hansen of Tax Administration Department for Economic Crime is certainly not impressed with the model if it is used by Danes with residences on the coast: “For example. Has two children at home in Denmark, who will inherit a house in Spain, which is mortgaged to the way the real value of the asset less. So you must also pay an inheritance tax, which is significantly smaller,If you have not given up the money that is in a tax haven country, “said Johnny Hansen Schaadt, who believes that the bank may be called to account for tax if its advice has been too aggressive. But it depends on a concrete assessment in each case.

Gold customers in the south

For Sydbank it was an excellent way to withdraw money and earnings to the business in Sydbank Switzerland, focusing on wealthy “private banking customers”, because it was often the villas on the Costa del Sol, there were 7-10 million. AUD worth. And it gives good returns to the bank to invest one million customers’ wealth.

 

Finten put so much in the system that Sydbank hired intermediaries or between men and paid them to lure customers to the bank. There were also created ads, which were advertised that Danes could turn their home equity if they had property in Spain or France. The following text was such spent in a private banking ad targeting Danes with home ownership in Spain: “By borrowing against your property and invest your equity, you have a unique opportunity to optimize your inheritance and property.”

 

It all happened while Sydbank had no banking license to the Spanish banking market. It is allowed to serve foreign customers, who turn to a Swiss bank, but it is not allowed to actively seek out customers in countries where you do not have a banking license. It was also Sydbank perception, according to the internal communication from Sydbank.

Among other things, therefore changed Sydbank practice over time, so the very aggressive advertising with advertisements for belåningsfinten was replaced by ads where you only advertised Sydbank as fire.

The Danish advisory tax accountant Christen Amby (SF) is not surprised Sydbank steps:
“It’s the kind of maneuvers which banks live on. They imagine their customers into thinking that they can make money in such a maneuver, and so serves Sydbank both to disseminate the loan and to manage their assets. But in practice, the customer is probably poorer . Can the bank so even getting people to believe that they can save tax, including cheat death duties in Spain, so it’s perfect. “


Customers must provide

Christen Amby says that it is primarily the bank’s customers who break the law if they fail to declare that they have a fortune standing in Switzerland.For Sydbank he should now be apparent from the bank accounts that part of the bank’s business concept is based on helping customers to cheat on taxes, and it is probably difficult to reconcile with the bank’s CSR policy (Corporate Social Responsibility), he believes. Even though it is the Spanish tax authorities, who cheated.

The Swiss Financial FINMA has a circular to the country’s banks made aware of the importance of preserving the Swiss banking sector’s reputation. It is notable that banks “should not contribute to tax evasion and similar submittal of incomplete or misleading evidence.”
Spokesman Tobias Lux from FINMA will not deny that banks operating in the country, must help with tax optimization in other countries. But, he says, banks must comply with Swiss and local laws.

“No matter how Swiss banks offer financial services, they must follow Swiss law. In addition, the bank must also follow the local rules, but generally it is up to local authorities to enforce this. That said, the violation of foreign law by Swiss Banks may also be a breach of Swiss banking regulations. “

Requirement of propriety

According to Tobias Lux is not necessarily illegal for a bank in the country to help foreigners with tax speculation. Yet it is something we will look at:

“It would obviously be interested in us. Violations of foreign law by Swiss banks may be a breach of Swiss banking regulations such. Requirement to ensure that its business is conducted in an orderly way,” said Tobias Lux, although it would not comment on the case.

Senior adviser and expert in banking, Lars Krull from Aalborg University believes that such lending models may be excellent business for banks, which can often earn more than £ 100,000 per year. customer:

“If they have mortgaged a house for example. 6 million. And leveraged money three times and then make a deal on asset, it can be a great business for the bank. On the other hand, it is also something worse, something if it goes wrong. “

Sydbank did not want to comment on this article.

 

Original Article in Danish Below.

 

Sydbank på skattejagt uden banklicens

Af PETER NYHOLM og JULIE H. TOFT

Offentliggjort 10.01.12 kl. 06:56

Store spanske millionvillaer skulle belånes, for at Sydbank kunne sælge investeringsydelser og hive penge hjem til den schweiziske datterbank.
Foto: HOUGAARD NIELS

Sydbank havde ikke engang en spansk banklicens. Men det forhindrede ikke banken i at indrykke annoncer og betale mellemmænd for at tiltrække formuer fra rige udlændinge bosat i bl.a. Spanien til Sydbank Schweiz med hovedsæde i Alpebyen St. Gallen.

Velhaverne skulle overbevises om det fornuftige i at belåne deres millionvillaer med et lavtforrentet dansk realkreditlån via Nykredit på Kalvebod Brygge i København. Pengene fra lånet blev overført til Sydbank Schweiz, som investerede pengene. Kunderne med bolig i Spanien og Frankrig blev stillet i udsigt, at investeringerne gav et højere afkast, end hvad realkreditlånet kostede i rente. Det kunne altså være en ekstra indtægt.

Men det var reduktion af betaling af arveafgift i Spanien, som var den centrale årsag til belåningsfinten, fremgår det af intern kommunikation fra Sydbank, som Morgenavisen JyllandsPosten har haft adgang til. Ifølge flere kilder med tæt kendskab til schweizisk bankvæsen giver denne fidus kun mening, hvis man kan skjule sin formue bag den schweiziske bankhemmelighed.

For når pengene er placeret i Schweiz, er det kundens ansvar at indberette deres eksistens til de relevante skattemyndigheder.

Arveafgift

Skattedirektør Johnny Schaadt Hansen fra Skats afdeling for Økonomisk Kriminalitet er bestemt ikke imponeret over modellen, hvis den benyttes af danskere med boliger på Solkysten:

“Hvis du f.eks. har to børn hjemme i Danmark, som skal arve et hus i Spanien, der er belånt på den måde, er den reelle værdi af aktivet mindre. Så skal du også betale en arveafgift, der er væsentligt mindre, hvis du ikke har opgivet de penge, som står i et skattely-land,” siger Johnny Schaadt Hansen, der mener, at banken kan blive stillet til ansvar af skat, hvis dens rådgivning har været for aggressiv. Men det kommer an på en konkret vurdering i hvert enkelt tilfælde.

Guldkunder i syd

For Sydbank var det en udmærket måde at trække penge og indtjening til forretningen i Sydbank Schweiz, der fokuserede på velhavende ”private banking kunder”, for det drejede sig ofte om villaer på Solkysten, der var 7-10 mio. kr. værd. Og det giver gode afkast til banken at investere kundernes millionformuer.

Finten blev sat så meget i system, at Sydbank hyrede formidlere eller mellemmænd og betalte dem for at lokke kunder til banken. Der blev også oprettet annoncer, hvor der blev reklameret for, at danskere kunne aktivere deres friværdi, hvis de havde ejendomme i Spanien eller Frankrig. Følgende tekst blev bl.a. brugt i en private banking-annonce henvendt til danskere med ejerbolig i Spanien:

“Ved at belåne din ejendom og investere din friværdi, har du en enestående mulighed for at optimere dine arve- og formueforhold.”

Det skete alt sammen, mens Sydbank ikke havde banklicens til det spanske bankmarked. Det er tilladt at betjene udenlandske kunder, som selv henvender sig til en schweizisk bank, men det er ikke tilladt aktivt at opsøge kunder i lande, hvor man ikke har banklicens. Det var også Sydbanks opfattelse, fremgår det af den interne kommunikation fra Sydbank.

Bl.a. derfor ændrede Sydbank praksis over tid, så den meget aggressive annoncering med reklamer for belåningsfinten blev erstattet af annoncer, hvor man blot reklamerede for Sydbank som brand.

Den danske rådgivende skatterevisor Christen Amby (SF) er ikke overrasket over Sydbanks fremgangsmåde:

“Det er jo den slags manøvrer, som bankerne lever af. De bilder kunderne ind, at de kan tjene penge på en sådan manøvre, og så tjener Sydbank på både at formidle lånet og på at administrere formuen. Men i praksis bliver kunden formentlig fattigere. Kan banken så oven i købet få folk til at tro, at de kan spare skat, herunder snyde for arveafgift i Spanien, så er det helt perfekt.”

Kunder skal oplyse

Christen Amby oplyser, at det først og fremmest er bankens kunder, som bryder loven, hvis de undlader at opgive, at de har en formue stående i Schweiz. For Sydbanks vedkommende bør det fremover fremgå af bankens årsregnskab, at en del af bankens forretningsgrundlag er baseret på at hjælpe kunderne med at snyde i skat, og det er formentlig svært at forene med bankens CSR-politik (Corporate Social Responsibility), mener han. Også selvom det er det spanske skattevæsen, der snydes.

Det schweiziske finanstilsyn FINMA har i en rundskrivelse til landets banker gjort opmærksom på det vigtige i at bevare den schweiziske banksektors omdømme. Heraf fremgår det bl.a. at bankerne “ikke må medvirke til skatteunddragelse og lignende ved indlevering af ufuldstændig eller vildledende dokumentation.”

Talsmand Tobias Lux fra FINMA vil ikke afvise, at banker, der opererer i landet, må hjælpe med skatteoptimering i andre lande. Men, siger han, bankerne skal overholde schweizisk og lokal lovgivning.

“Ligegyldigt, hvor schweiziske banker tilbyder finansielle services, skal de følge schweizisk lovgivning. Derudover skal banken også følge de lokale regler, men generelt er det op til de lokale myndigheder at håndhæve dette. Når det er sagt, kan brud på udenlandsk lovgivning af schweiziske banker også være brud på schweiziske bankregler.”

Krav om ordentlighed

Ifølge Tobias Lux er det ikke nødvendigvis ulovligt, at en bank i landet hjælper udlændinge med skattespekulation. Alligevel er det noget, man vil kigge nærmere på:

“Det vil selvfølgelig interessere os. Brud på udenlandsk lovgivning af schweiziske banker kan være brud på schweiziske bankregler som f.eks. kravet om at sikre, at bankens forretning bliver udført på en ordentlig måde,” siger Tobias Lux, som dog ikke vil kommentere den konkrete sag.

Seniorrådgiver og ekspert i banker Lars Krull fra Aalborg Universitet mener, at sådanne lånemodeller kan være fremragende forretninger for banker, der ofte kan tjene mere end 100.000 kr. om året pr. kunde:

“Hvis de har belånt et hus med f.eks. 6 mio. kr., og gearet pengene tre gange i og derefter laver en aftale om kapitalforvaltning, så kan det være en fantastisk forretning for banken. Til gengæld er det også noget værre noget, hvis det går galt.”

Sydbank har ikke ønsket at kommentere denne artikel.