Swaps five chains of Santander declared void



The Supreme Court has confirmed the nullity five swaps chained Sentence 4 February 2016.

In so far this year, el Banco Santander ha recibido al menos ocho sentencias condenatorias en el Tribunal Supremo por la irregular "placement" of swaps (SSTS 11.3.16, 12.2.16. 11.2.16, 4.2.16, 4.2.16, 3.2.16, 3.2.16 and 1.2.16). Solamente ha conseguido la estimación de un recurso de casación en un proceso en el que el administrador había sido durante seis años analista de riesgos en una empresa de capital riesgo (STS 16.2.16).

It draws attention to the interest with which highly complex swaps were placed, SMEs whose activity had nothing to do with such sophistication.

Es el caso de la Sentencia del Tribunal Supremo de 4 February 2016. The applicants are "Las Cumbres de Calahonda S.L." and "PRODEI, Promociones y Desarrollo Inmobiliario S.L.”. Se trata de dos empresas dedicadas a la actividad inmobiliaria, a las que les colocaron los siguientes financial contracts:

  • a) soft swap reversible Media en octubre de 2006.
  • b) Interest rate swap with unilateral conversion option in December 2007.
  • c) Swap float and convertible with Cap in June 2008.
  • d) Interest rate swap with unilateral conversion option in November 2007.
  • and) Options necklace interest rates barrier Knock-in on the floor in April 2008.

A la vista de las pérdidas sufridas como consecuencia de dichos contratos, They sued the bank.

The Court of First Instance No. 5 Mostoles estimated demand full and he declared the invalidity of such contracts, mutual ordering the recovery of benefits. I consider that swaps are complex contracts those who must apply the rules governing the market. Son igualmente adhesion contracts, unilaterally drawn by the bank, sin posibilidad de negociación. The hiring initiative was the bank. The representatives of contracting companies, They had no financial expertise or experience in these products. They are "sold" swaps as hedging products to the risk of rising interest rates. It not adequately informed of the risks of large losses. Ultimately, the lack of adequate information generated the error on the consent of the applicants.

Banco Santander appealed to la Audiencia Provincial de Madrid, que estimó el recurso y le absolvió, in sentence 5 October 2012. For Hearing, contracts are sufficiently clear so that any manager societies with the economic magnitude of the applicants could understand what. Considers that "It must be presumed the necessary training to understand the characteristics and performance of contracts swap". both positive and negative liquidations occurred, so customers should understand the mechanics of the contracted products. It concludes that there was no excusable error viciase consent.

Customers, they presented extraordinary appeal on procedural infringements and appeal to the Supreme Court.

The appeal for procedural infringement It is based on the infringement of the principle of free evaluation of evidence. La Sala desestima el motivo, because in general, review of the evidence produced in the instance is not supported by that resource, salvo que no superase el test de razonabilidad. La valoración de la prueba se agota en la Audiencia Provincial, infringement unless a specific valuation rule, el error patente o los casos de arbitrariedad o irrazonabilidad. No se puede impugnar la valoración jurídica de los hechos realizada por la Audiencia Provincial mediante el recurso extraordinario de infracción procesal. It dismisses the same.

As to appeal, el primer motivo alegado es la infracción del artículo 79.1 of the Securities Market Law and RD 629/1993, regarding the performance standards for the financial institution.

For the Board, both before and after the introduction of MiFID, the financial institution was obliged to duly inform the customer of the risks of these products plus:

“(….) should have assessed that in view of their financial situation and investment objective, was what most suited ".

The first three contracts, prior to the entry into force of MiFID, RD was applicable to them 629/1993 that already required banks act with impartiality and good faith, without putting their own interests to those of their customers, with care and diligence, and prior information on the financial situation, experiencia inversora y objetivos de inversión de los clientes.

For the Board, la entidad financiera no cumplió los deberes de información exigibles y la sentencia recurrida se opone a la abundante jurisprudencia recaída sobre la materia.

Citing STS 12 January 2015 and 30 November 2015, indicates:

"It is the investment services company who has the obligation to provide information imposed such legislation and which are not its customers are not professionals in the financial market and investment- who must ascertain the relevant issues on investment, buscar por su cuenta asesoramiento experto y formular las correspondientes preguntas”.

He adds:

"What matters is not so much to appear formally completed the processing of the information, but the conditions under which materially the same is true ".

The bank paid service financial advice, which will require strict fulfillment of their duties of information. La infracción del mismo, entails presunción de la existencia del error. Y dicho error es excusable por que el cliente necesitaba esa información y el banco estaba obligado a proporcionársela.

Ultimately, this plea to consideration of the other grounds of appeal is not necessary.

the judgment of the Provincial Court marries and the judgment of the Court of First Instance no confirmed 5 Mostoles, que declara la nulidad de los contratos “swap” y de opciones.

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